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Euskaltel launches 4K Android box and signs up for Google Play

Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel has launched the 4K Android set-top promised by CEO Francisco Arteche at the company’s first quarter results presentation in May.

Euskaltel has signed up to make Google Play available to its customers, enabling them to take Google services from their set-tops. The company said it was hopeful that this would open up new opportunities for local app developers in the Basque Country region in which it operates.

Companies that have signed up to make their apps available via Euskaltel’s TV service include news services Diario Vasco, El Correo, Grupo Noticias and EiTB and Basque Country bank Kutxabank, one of Euskaltel’s major shareholders.

The box can be connected to peripheral devices via WiFi, Bluetooth and USB, and subscribers can use their mobile phones to control it. The device can be connected to a gaming controller, with selected games available via the Google Play store, and can also be voice-controlled.

Francisco Arteche

Francisco Arteche

Other features of the Euskaltel platform include restart service Replay, video-on-demand service Replayteka, with over 7,000 movies and series episodes available, seven-day catch-up and DVR.

“TV consumption habits are constantly changing. TV users are demanding a new way of viewing television that combines the internet and TV. We want to universalize television, so that all our customers can have access to the new TV experience, just as we already did with fixed telephony when we begun operating 20 years ago, or with broadband and mobile telephony since then. Now it’s the turn of a new way of watching television at home, with content and features for everyone and with the maximum image quality,” said Arteche.

Separately, Spain’s competition watchdog last week gave a green light for the acquisition of Zegona Communications-owned Asturias region operator Telecable by Euskaltel, paving the way for completion of the deal. The acquisition of Telecable will create a single cable and telecommunications operator covering the Basque Country, Asturias and Galicia, where Euskaltel already owns local player R.