SBC, Yahoo Reach Beyond the PC

Responding to the convergence of networks and the growth of connected devices, SBC and Yahoo are expanding their successful Internet access and content partnership beyond the PC.

The regional telecom and Internet content giant are planning new offerings for TV, audio, home networking, Wi-Fi and Cingular Wireless (SBC co-owns the mobile carrier). The first new products are due next year.

The pact also includes a multi-year extension of the original co-branding dial-up and DSL pact, proceeds of which are distributed on a revenue share model. Additional financial terms of the broader partnership weren’t disclosed.

“This alliance advances the SBC strategy to evolve the ‘digital home’ into the ‘digital lifestyle,'” Edward E. Whitacre Jr., SBC’s CEO, said in a statement. “What you see on your SBC Yahoo Internet home page is coming to a TV set or wireless phone near you.”

It’s SBC’s second such move in as many days. Yesterday, the San Antonio, Texas, telecom chose Microsoft’s IP TV platform to deliver video through its planned fiber-optic network.

On the TV offerings, Yahoo will develop everything from the main user interface to the remote, a Yahoo spokeswoman told

There should be minimal interaction between Yahoo and Microsoft on the TV project. Microsoft’s technology will deliver the video through high-speed connections, while Yahoo’s software allow users control and customize it, the spokeswoman said.

Other IPTV offerings being explored include services revolving around music and photos, Destiny Belknap, an SBC spokeswoman, said.

Other products will require less work to integrate. For example, Yahoo already has a relationship with Cingular Wireless, but will design a customer services for SBC-Yahoo customers built around personalized Web-content and messaging.

SBC and Yahoo will also enhance SBC’s current unified communications offering, producing one mailbox for all e-mail, wireline and wireless voicemail and faxes, as well as a consolidated address book, accessible by computer phone or TV.

On the Wi-Fi front, Yahoo’s local search capabilities will be folded into the access software, allowing customers to find local business and to get directions.

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