Verizon in deal with Microsoft for video services

MUMBAI: Telecom companies in the US are gearing up to provide video services over high-speed data lines. And they are using Microsoft software technology to roll out more advanced interactive services.

Verizon Communications Inc. is the latest telecom player to sign up with Microsoft Corp. As per the deal, Verizon will use the Microsoft TV platform for the commercial rollout of Verizon's FiOS TV service, planned for later this year.

The Microsoft TV platform will support high-definition television, digital video recording and on-demand programming offered by Verizon on the FiOS platform. In addition, it will provide FiOS TV customers with an interactive programming guide that is attractive, intuitive and easy to use.

Verizon and its third-party partners will use the Microsoft software to add advanced applications for future FiOS TV services, differentiating Verizon in the marketplace and bringing consumers the benefits of voice, video and data convergence.

"With FiOS TV, Verizon will be able to offer its customers more channels, more choices and great value," says Verizon's Retail Markets group president Bob Ingalls. "The Microsoft TV platform not only provides us with advanced digital TV capabilities that are designed to serve the millions of Verizon subscribers we ultimately expect will choose FiOS TV, but it gives us virtually unlimited potential to evolve our interactive services into the most seamlessly integrated offering in the industry."

"Verizon's FiOS and FiOS TV initiatives are examples of the innovative services and exciting new consumer experiences that forward-thinking service providers will be bringing to their customers starting this year," offers corporate vice president of Microsoft TV division at Microsoft Moshe Lichtman. "This agreement with Verizon is another significant example that some of the world's largest network operators are choosing Microsoft TV as the software platform for their digital TV and digital home services."

FiOS TV will use the Microsoft TV software platform and Motorola hardware platform to provide an expanded channel lineup, high-definition programming and hundreds of video-on-demand titles. FiOS TV will not only offer customers advanced digital TV services, it will also enable Verizon to provide future video applications based on Internet Protocol (IP) technology, informs an official release.

The Microsoft TV platform will work in parallel with Verizon's iobi(SM) service delivery platform, which allows information to be shared across many different networks, applications and devices.

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