RealTime IT News

Alcatel, Microsoft to Hand Over Your IPTV

Network equipment vendor Alcatel will join Microsoft to market IP Television (IPTV) products to broadband providers worldwide, the companies announced today.

The agreement combines Alcatel's access and integration technologies with Microsoft TV IPTV Edition. The aim is to produce offerings that help service providers reduce the costs and complexity of rollouts.

"We are excited to cooperate with Microsoft and benefit from its leadership in TV software delivery platforms and innovative consumer experiences delivered across devices in the multimedia-connected home," Serge Tchuruk, Alcatel's CEO, said in a statement.

The companies already have a number of common customers. The first use of the combined offering could be deployed later this year, Moshe Lichtman, corporate vice president of Microsoft's television division, said in a statement.

Microsoft has been enjoying some success with its IPTV platform. (IPTV also dovetails with Microsoft's oft-touted digital home strategy.)

Bellsouth , SBC and Verizon are committed to using it for trials or general availability of IPTV.

IPTV is a crucial piece of the regional telecoms' multi-billion-dollar plans to use fiber-optic cable to deliver a "triple-play" bundle of television, phone and high-speed Internet services to consumers. There have also been rumblings of providing IPTV over souped-up DSL lines.

Both delivery methods are part of the telecoms' strategy to compete with cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner at their own game.

Under today's pact, Microsoft and Alcatel will develop and customize new applications that are specific to different cultures around the world.

They will also focus on security and digital rights management technologies and enhance applications and network resiliency to improve the reliability of large deployments. Financial terms were not disclosed.