Moving from being a transport utility where the only job is to swipe a credit card for shuffling bits down a pipe to managing a complex array of payments for various content usage is one of the biggest challenges facing the IPTV industry.
Today's broadband billing systems are classically simple reflecting a single payment for a certain amount of bandwidth. But when a customer has found an IPTV package the broadband provider will need to work out who needs to be paid what from the subscription price, adapted to subscription packages and offers. This can prove an immensely complex process and will require effective settlement management solutions.
"Such a complicated process needs an automated settlement system in the deployment of IPTV solutions, since working out by hand who is owed what and for what period of time for thousands, let alone millions, of customers is not practical and highly error prone," writes Mark Denton for vnunet.com.
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