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October 10, 2012

Samsung Augments Teleplan with New Aftermarket Services

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Yesterday, Samsung (News - Alert) tapped Teleplan to serve as the management for Samsung's aftermarket services relating to their Horizon line of set-top boxes, which they offer in concert with Liberty Global (News - Alert). The Horizon boxes offer a wide array of options in terms of entertainment and multimedia content alike, so having a robust aftermarket service offering was important to their continued viability in the market.

Samsung went with Teleplan thanks to Teleplan's service network, which is available across a wide variety of places, as well as Teleplan's technical expertise relating to set-top boxes, and the overall quality of Teleplan's services. It helped, naturally, that Teleplan had already been involved with Samsung as part of the service side of Samsung's smartphone and mobile operations, so Teleplan was already a known quantity within Samsung.

Combine the firm's clear expertise, and a previously successful relationship with the company and it makes perfect sense that Samsung would turn to Teleplan. Samsung needs good quality aftermarket service to augment a solid offering that they've put out with Liberty Global, as the combination have turned the Horizon set-top box into a platform with a wide-reaching array of services. Not only can users watch television programming through the device, but they can also shop for and purchase new content, perform searches to discover new content that was previously unknown to them, and even convert that content to mobile formats so it can go on the road with users.

Available primarily in European countries--the rollout reportedly started in the Netherlands back in September with plans to expand into Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland three to six months later--the Liberty Global/Samsung co-production represents a new way to watch television in those countries.

The concept of a new way to watch television has been gaining ground in the last few years, with services like Netflix, Hulu (News - Alert), Roku, and several others rapidly making inroads and plenty of their equivalents available internationally. The primary issue in all of those cases is customer service, as companies like Netflix have discovered. Samsung's plan to bring Teleplan into play should prove to be a smart one in the end, giving Samsung serious advantages in customer service and making customers overall happier with their selection.

This gives global competitors--again like Netflix, who has been working to a global expansion now--a bit of a disadvantage in terms of entering the market, as it's hard to sell services to a population that already has a service they enjoy using and for which they aren't interested in finding a replacement.

It's a smart move for Samsung and Liberty Global, one that should ultimately pay significant dividends for the companies by providing a service resilient to competition.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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