Deutsche Telekom AG is joining Microsoft Corp. to deliver Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services to consumers across Germany. The contract will enable Deutsche Telekom Group to deliver next-generation television, as well as complementary interactive services and a range of entertainment products over its VDSL broadband networks.
Deutsche Telekom will use the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform to offer these services. Microsoft will support Deutsche Telekom with joint marketing, in addition to marketing by Deutsche Telekom, to help develop IPTV in Germany. The agreement reached with Deutsche Telekom is Microsoft’s largest IPTV contract in Europe to date and its second largest worldwide.
The platform will enable customers to receive regular TV programs as well as advanced television services including standard- and high-definition programs, interactive TV, digital video recording and video on demand. An onDemand Collections feature will allow viewers to access appealing content packages including selected feature films, TV series or documentaries at the touch of a button.
IPTV services will be delivered through the new VDSL network, which is currently being extended by T-Com. This network is expected to permit bandwidth of up to 50 Mbit/s and is planned for launch starting mid-2006 in 10 major German cities including Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich.
Integrated personal video recorder functionality will enable viewers to “time shift” programs at their convenience, pausing live shows or recording them to enjoy later.
The Microsoft TV IPTV Edition platform will also enable viewers to interact with television programs, leveraging the always-connected, two-way, broadband network. This could include applications such as voting, accessing sports scores and league tables, and participating in competitions to win prizes.