Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV platform has been deployed by Chinese cable operator Guangzhou Digital Media Group

January 12, 2009

2 Min Read
Chinese MSO Does IPTV With Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) recorded three IPTV firsts today: the first cable operator customer for its Mediaroom platform; the breakthrough into the TV-over-broadband market in China; and the first deployment of the new Anytime capabilities that were announced last week at 2009 International CES in Las Vegas. (See Microsoft's Promise: TV Anytime You Want It.)

The triple whammy comes courtesy of a Mediaroom deployment at Chinese cable operator Guangzhou Digital Media Group, which has just officially launched its Zhujiang Digital service. The operator, formerly known as Guangzhou Radio and Television Network, or Guangzhou Cable, plans to offer the service to all of its 2.5 million cable TV customers within the next three to five years. (See Guangzhou Uses Mediaroom.)

The service includes video on demand (VoD), high-definition services, and the time-shift capabilities of the Anytime application.

In addition, Guangzhou Digital Media has been working with local companies to develop interactive applications that can be integrated with its IPTV services. As a result, subscribers to the Zhujiang Digital services can access local government and sports news, employ interactive messaging and voting tools, and pay for their phone bills and travel tickets using their TV sets.

Gaining a foothold in China is an important step for any player in the IPTV market, because, although the TV-over-broadband sector is currently still in its very early stages in China, there is room for enormous growth as service providers team up with the country's IPTV license holders, such as the Shanghai Media Group (SMG) , to offer new services to their broadband customers.

According to a market forecast from Informa Telecoms & Media , China is on course to have more than 10 million IPTV subscribers by the end of 2013. According to Light Reading estimates, there are between 800,000 and 1 million IPTV users in China currently.

Microsoft's Mediaroom platform has, to date, mostly been deployed by national telecom operators such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY). The software company says the platform is now being used to provide multimedia services to about 2.5 million customers globally. (See BT Adds to Its IPTV Options, Singtel Does IPTV, BT Focuses Its IPTV 'Vision', AT&T Launches HDTV, and Microsoft Wins IPTV Deal at DT.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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