BT says it will use Microsoft’s Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) software platform to deliver TV over broadband in the UK from next year.
BT plans to trial TV over broadband using IPTV in early 2006, and expects to deliver a commercial service from the summer of 2006.
Gavin Patterson, group managing director of BT Retail, said, “BT and Microsoft share a common vision for converged entertainment in the home. TV over broadband services will play an important role in BT’s triple-play offering for consumers.”
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Triple play sees operators able to offer voice, data and video to customers using a converged infrastructure.
To do this, operators need to update their exchanges to build the necessary quality of service levels into their infrastructure. BT and other UK providers have so far failed to do this, and are behind operators in Italy, Austria and Scandinavia who already offer triple-play services.
Patterson said, “Our approach to broadband-delivered video on demand complements existing TV propositions already in the UK market, and the combination of Microsoft’s best-in-class technology with BT’s 21st century network will result in an incredibly exciting set of next-generation entertainment and communication services.”
BT plans to make money out of pay-per-view films, games and other services. It originally planned to do so five years ago when it first launched broadband services, believing its existing infrastructure was up to the job, but subsequently realised it wasn’t.