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Lifecycle OPEX Cost for IPTV Customer Care

According to the Yankee Group, the managed IPTV services offered by telecom providers have been a primary investment focus during the last two years. IPTV services in Asia, Europe and North America have begun to take form in early field trials and commercial deployments.

Only recently have the operational costs associated with these deployments come into focus. Service providers are spending billions to upgrade their networks to add IPTV applications in the home.

Because the capital and operational investments to upgrade the network are so high, service providers need to keep their support costs as low as possible. However, installation and support costs are still very high, and service providers are looking for options that will decrease these costs in both the short and long term.

Yankee Group analyzed the operational costs associated with IPTV deployments as part of a series of research initiatives examining service provider's approaches to deploying broadband and associated IP services. Although the costs vary significantly according to geography and type of IPTV deployment, they determined that the average cost to install an IPTV customer is 287.00 euros ($371) per subscriber.

This figure does not include short-term support (i.e., for the first 30 days), which is an additional 60.30 euros ($77.96) per subscriber. Ongoing support costs about 22.70 euros ($29.35) per month, per subscriber, which brings the total for IPTV support in the first year to 584.00 euros ($755.00) per subscriber.

These figures do not include any capital costs, and the installation figures are based solely on 'truck roll' costs. Installation, long-term support and short-term support account for 49.1 percent, 42.7 percent and 8.2 percent of total costs, respectively.

I recall that an early study of installations within the U.S. market, using Verizon and AT&T data, showed that the average IPTV install took at least four hours to complete -- even with multiple field technicians involved. It now appears that the average time per install may have declined. Regardless, the install and support investment in each subscriber is still relatively high.

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