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Vodafone aims for widest distribution of IPTV

Vodafone plans to use its strength as a fixed-network provider in Germany to develop an IPTV platform that can then be ported to other territories, though decisions on how to build services elsewhere will depend on local conditions. In Germany it also intends to use its position as a leading mobile provider to deliver TV services to the widest possible base of customers.

“Our strategy was to develop a flexible products that we could adapt to different markets,” Diego Massidda, director of video and connected home at Vodafone told a press lunch organised by NDS at the IBC trade show. However, there are no immediate plans to launch a similar service in other countries where Vodafone provides fixed-line services. Vodafone Spain is launching a connected-TV-type service this year, but could possibly deliver a full IPTV service in the future.

Vodafone has 3.5 million fixed broadband subscribers in Germany following its acquisition of broadband service provider Arcor. Vodafone will deploy a hybrid design of set-top that can receive cable, satellite and terrestrial signals, including analogue cable, as well as IPTV in order to appeal to users that already receive free TV services via alternative distribution channels, and to enable its entire base of ADSL customers to adopt it, even if the bandwidth they receive is not sufficient to support IPTV on its own. It will use its IP network to deliver additional services, including video-on-demand and pay-TV. “One key objective was to have all ADSL customers get the product – we want to give it to everyone,” he said. In parallel to IPTV, which will be launched commercially before Christmas, Vodafone has added DLNA to its fixed-line routers, enabling them to become network-attached storage devices to deliver additional services around the home.