Internet TV strides forward in Germany

March 21, 2006

Internet television took another step forward Tuesday following Deutsche Telekom's announcement that it would join forces with software behemoth Microsoft to develop Internet protocol television services to its clients across Germany.

The German telecommunications group said that the alliance will allow it not only to offer television programs online, but also to allow interactive services and other entertainment products on broadband networks. While the two companies did not disclose financial details of the agreement, they said that the German carrier will be using Microsoft's TV IPTV software, and the two companies will work together in marketing the service in Germany as well. This will be Microsoft's single-largest European Internet television internet contract to date, and its second-largest IPTV deal in the world. In addition, this will be the largest European endeavor to make broadband television become the mainstream way of watching TV. Granted, there have already been several attempts across Europe to get Internet TV to take off, including France Telecom's launch of MaLigne TV, which is available in about 10 million homes since its launch in 2003, and Fast Web offers similar services in Italy, while Home Choice and Kingston Communications are some of the IPTV providers in Britain. But the latest Deutsche Telekom deal will be by far the most scrutinized by industry analysts not just in Europe, but worldwide as well given its sheer scale and ambitions.

"Working together, Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom will help create a revolution in TV entertainment for consumers across Germany and France. With its rapidly growing customer base, and the power of next-generation technologies like IPTV, Deutsche Telekom has the potential to deliver exciting new connected-entertainment services across the range of consumer devices in the home," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft in announcing the deal.

Some of the features that will be available on broadband-based television that is not accessible on terrestrial TV networks include having interactive functions to respond to polls and other services on programs. By introducing interactive television on broadband, viewers will have access to applications such as voting on programs that are actually on air, get details of sports scores and league tables, and take part in competitions to win prizes.

In addition, viewers will be able to digitally record programs and have access to video on demand, to enable them to select films or television series at a touch of a button without having to look at TV guides and wait for their favorite show to start at a pre-established time. They will also have access to pay-per-view television, and have the ability to pause live shows.

The broadband service will be delivered through a VDSL network that is currently being extended across Germany, and it should allow a bandwidth of up to 50 megabits per second. The plan it to launch the service in a few months' time in ten 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 board of management at Deutsche Telekom. "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," he added.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Germany auctions off new mobile phone frequencies

Related Stories

Germany auctions off new mobile phone frequencies

May 27, 2015

Germany on Wednesday started an auction of frequencies for mobile phone operators, pledging that users will soon enjoy nationwide super-fast 4G coverage without "black holes" in rural areas.

Britain's BT in talks to buy mobile operator EE

December 15, 2014

BT Group PLC said Monday it is in exclusive talks to buy mobile phone operator EE from Germany's Deutsche Telekom and France's Orange for 12.5 billion pounds ($20 billion) in cash and shares.

Vodafone launches bid for Kabel Deutschland

June 24, 2013

Britain's Vodafone PLC has launched a takeover bid for Germany's biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland, as part of its push to dominate media services in its biggest market.

Britain gets first 4G mobile services

October 31, 2012

Britain's first super-fast 4G mobile Internet service was launched in 11 cities on Tuesday, allowing the kingdom to catch up with the global roll-out.

Recommended for you

ATLAS and CMS experiments shed light on Higgs properties

September 1, 2015

Three years after the announcement of the discovery of a new particle, the so-called Higgs boson, the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations present for the first time combined measurements of many of its properties, at the third annual ...

Tiny drops of early universe 'perfect' fluid

September 1, 2015

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider for nuclear physics research at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, smashes large nuclei together at close to the speed of ...

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

September 1, 2015

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.