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Monday, 09 May 2011 13:46

Optus to launch converged IPTV service with FetchTV


Optus is partnering with wholesale IPTV service provider, FetchTV to jointly develop a converged IPTV service that will be available over is fixed broadband network and on smartphones and tablet devices.

The service is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2011 and, according to Optus, is part of its strategy "to develop a suite of converged video services, delivering choice and control for customers whether they're at home or on the move."

Austin R Bryan, director of Optus Digital Media, said: "The way people view and engage with video content is changing rapidly. Optus wants to be at the forefront of this change, which is why we're partnering with FetchTV to develop a unique TV offering across multiple devices.

"With its strong content line-up and innovative delivery platform, we believe FetchTV is the best partner to help us develop a service which will provide customers with a fantastic user experience.

The FetchTV service is presently offered to their fixed network broadband customers by Internode, iiNet and its Westnet subsidiary and, soon, by Adam Internet.

Optus has provided no other details of its plans for the service, but did confirm that it would launch, in the second half of 2011, simultaneously to fixed network broadband and smartphone/tablet customers.

As offered by fixed line ISPs the FetchTV service requires a minimum of 4.5Mbps, which would be beyond the mobile broadband service in most situations. However the basic IPTV service uses only half that.

iiNet told iTWire when it launched the service last July "You need a 4.5Mbps broadband connection to take the service. We allocate dynamically up to 2.5Mbps for the IPTV. A standard definition channel takes 2Mbps and we are using the other 512bkps to pre-seed the set-top box."

While the delivery of 'converged video services' by telcos might be in its infancy, vendors have been promoting the technology for some time and Cisco, Ericsson and Ooyala have all recently announced converged offerings, and something from Telstra could be on its way.

At CES in Las Vegas in January Cisco announced Videoscape, billed as "a comprehensive TV platform for service providers that brings together digital TV and online content with social media and communications applications to create a new, truly immersive home and mobile video entertainment experience."  In support of the concept, Cisco quoted Telstra CEO, David Thodey saying "We see tremendous opportunity with IP video services that offer consumers interactive, Internet-like experiences using both the TV and the PC."

Since then Ericsson has announced its Media Delivery Management System, designed to harmonise the delivery and management of TV programming to multiple different device types an Ooyala has announced Ooyala Everywhere, billed as delivering "rich, personalised viewing experiences [that] can now be offered directly by the content creator or distributor to consumers, and can be fully monetised through ads, subscriptions, and pay-per-view'¦ across mobile devices, connected TVs and browsers."

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