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T Italia Targets IPTV Ramp

8:00 AM -- Hidden amongst the many details of Telecom Italia (TIM) 's new three-year strategy, announced this week, was the operator's expectations for its IPTV business, which has been slow to take off since its launch in early 2006, due in part to a lengthy decision-making process about its underlying technology. (See Telecom Italia Rejects Microsoft IPTV.)

By the end of June this year, Telecom Italia had 180,000 customers for its TV-over-broadband service, and is aiming to have 300,000 users by the end of this year. (See Italians Turn On to IPTV.)

Now the carrier has looked even further into future, and has set itself a goal of taking its IPTV customer base to 1.5 million by the end of 2011 -- in effect, the carrier believes it can achieve 400 percent growth during the next three years. During that same time period, Telecom Italia expects its fixed broadband subscriber base to grow from 6.7 million this year to 8.2 million by the end of 2011.

Those figures are for the carrier's domestic market only: By 2011, it seems, Telecom Italia expects to have sold its other European broadband operations. It has already divested its French business, and now, as part of its strategy to focus on Italy, Brazil, and Argentina, is looking to attract buyers for its German operation, HanseNet Telekommunikation GmbH , and its Dutch business, bbned . (See Iliad Closes In on $1.3B Acquisition , Alice Goes Dutch, and DT Rival Launches IPTV .)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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