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Mobile operators next for multiscreen OTT

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Telenor Hungary MyTV OTT service

Mobile network operators in Europe, along with their counterparts in other markets, are the next category of network operator who will feel the need to launch their own aggregated multiscreen OTT video services to protect and grow their businesses. At the same time there is a trend towards ‘mobile first’, where portable screens become the entry point for consumer content journeys that may or may not then lead to the big living room TV.

These are two of the beliefs that have led UUX, a new multiscreen/OTT platform solutions provider, to prioritize the mobile operator market in Europe, even though parts of the company’s cloud-based ‘Internet TV as a Service’, or iTaaS platform, can be used by fixed line operators including cable, and channels going direct to consumer for multiscreen TV.

UUX announced its first European customer in December: Telenor for the new MyTV multiscreen service that provides live TV, catch-up TV and VOD. Christopher Laska, CEO of Telenor Hungary (one of Hungary’s leading mobile operators) calls it a revolutionary new service because of its convenience and ease of use. Lou Schwartz, the CEO at UUX, is especially proud about the speed at which the service was deployed, probably because that reflects some of the strengths that UUX hopes will differentiate its offer in Europe: A fully cloud-based platform, turnkey solutions and strong integration and implementations experience. Notably, there was no CapEx investment on the part of Telenor Hungary.

UUX was formed by the merger of two companies, Total Media Networks and OTT Networks, which between them can point to a heritage in OTT/multiscreen deployments, including the Totalmovie service in Mexico. Lou Schwartz was formerly CEO of the Americas for what is now Piksel Inc. but was formerly Kit Digital.

He says the company is different to most multiscreen solution providers in Europe because it is fully focused on a cloud-based solution. “Some companies are entrenched in the headend business with on-premise solutions. Our solution is completely off-premise and completely, turnkey,” he declares.

“It comes with content and professional services for billing and integration and we have product marketing people who can help clients with packaging and pricing and their go-to-market strategies. We are like a combination of Cisco and Accenture in a cloud-based workflow.”

What he just described is the full-flavour offering, which will enable any mobile (or other fixed line operator) with zero television experience launch services quickly. The content relationships include deals with Disney, Fox and Sony. UUX does also market its enterprise CMS (content management system) to companies who can already take care of the rest.

The projected benefits of using a cloud-based platform are probably now familiar but include avoiding the investment in your own on-premise equipment, time-to-market and then flexibility once the service is deployed.  Schwartz says UUX can get a network operator launched within 90 days with its turnkey offer.

The content management and marketing is an important part of the turnkey solution. UUX provides business model support and according to Schwartz: “We focus our attention on the user experience. Mobile operators may not understand TV, they do not want to license content and they need someone who knows how they can create incremental revenue. Since our own revenue is largely based on their success, we are investing in making it work for them.”

He is referring to a business model that combines an upfront fee to cover OSS/BSS integration, a minimum guarantee and then a per-active-subscriber fee.

Schwartz says that, thanks to its Total Media Networks heritage, especially with Totalmovie in Latin America, UUX understands how to retail video services direct to consumers and the billing and customer care challenges that go with that – all expertise that it can pass onto European network operators.

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