Cable TV

Microsoft to power Deutsche Telekom's IPTV initiative

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MUMBAI: Deutsche Telekom has reached agreement with Microsoft on an alliance to deliver Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services to consumers across Germany. The deal will enable Deutsche Telekom to deliver next-generation television, as well as complementary interactive services and a range of entertainment products over its VDSL broadband networks.

Deutsche Telekom will use the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform to offer these services. Microsoft will support Deutsche Telekom with joint marketing, in addition to marketing by Deutsche Telekom, to help develop IPTV in Germany. The agreement reached with Deutsche Telekom is Microsoft's largest IPTV contract in Europe to date and its second largest worldwide.

The move marks the biggest European contract Microsoft TV has signed, and the second largest after one with AT&T in the United States, the software behemoth said.

"Today's announcement represents Microsoft's largest IPTV agreement in Europe to date and is a very significant milestone in our long-standing relationship with Deutsche Telekom," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

The platform will enable customers to receive regular TV programs as well as advanced television services including standard- and high-definition programs, interactive TV, digital video recording and video on demand. An onDemand Collections feature will allow viewers to access appealing content packages including selected feature films, TV series or documentaries at the touch of a button.

IPTV services will be delivered through the new VDSL network, which is currently being extended by T-Com. This network is expected to permit bandwidth of up to 50 Mbit/s and is planned for launch starting mid-2006 in 10 major German cities including Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich.

"In recent months, the experts at T-Online have run the Microsoft TV platform through extensive tests, and we are convinced that we will be able to offer excellent-quality IPTV services that will expand as we need them to," said Kai-Uwe Ricke, chairman of the Deutsche Telekom board. "IPTV delivered via VDSL will enable better, more service-oriented, more interactive and, above all, more customized television. With this advanced television service, Deutsche Telekom and Microsoft are writing another chapter in our longstanding cooperation, tapping new markets and together exploring exciting new growth opportunities."

The Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform will enable Deutsche Telekom to offer its customers a better television experience, including a wide range of special-interest channels and compelling pay-TV programs, both live and on demand. Integrated personal video recorder functionality will enable viewers to "time shift" programs at their convenience, pausing live shows or recording them to enjoy later, a statement released by the two partners claims.

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