Television

Bill Gates, Anil Ambani meet over IPTV

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MUMBAI: Anil Ambani's Reliance Infocomm may not have made significant headway in rolling out Internet Protocol (IP)-based television services, but a word of assurance has come from none other than Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.

"We are putting renewed energy into the IPTV tie-up," Gates has been quoted in a PTI report as saying.

Reliance Infocommm had signed an agreement with Microsoft in October 2003 to work together to jointly create, test and deliver IPTV services based on an IPTV solution being developed by Microsoft TV.

Gates, who is on a whirlwind two-day visit to India, met Ambani in Delhi. "I had a chance to meet Anil Ambani today. We will now help them in rolling out broadband services. He has a strategy in place and we will play a key role in helping them," Gates told PTI.

The technology developed by Microsoft will enable Reliance Infocomm to leverage its nationwide high-speed infrastructure to deliver a unique set of television services. Also, the company plans to offer services such as web surfing, e-mailing, online gaming with multiple players over its broadband network.

Gates, who today announced Microsoft's plans to invest $1.7 billion in India over the next four years, has been aggressively eyeing the IPTV market across the world and has tied up with a few telecom operators.

In India, telecom operators like Reliance Infocomm and VSNL have drawn up major plans for IPTV. But they have been unable to resolve issues over last mile, historically held by local cable operators. Also, technology for commercial deployment and content for these services is yet to be firmed up.

 

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