Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Belgacom Launches IPTV Services with Siemens

Belgacom announced the commercial launch of digital TV services over its ADSL network. Belgacom's business model is to rent the set-top box and remote control for EUR 6 per month, provide free access to dozens of channels, and charge extra for VOD and sports programming. Siemens provided the end-to-end solution, based on the Surpass Home Entertainment concept.

Belgacom said its key differentiators would be better digital image and sound quality, exclusive and more interesting content, and an Electronic Program Guide that lets viewers tailor their content choices. In the near future, Belgacom will offer PVR capabilities and onscreen surfing capabilities.

Belgacom TV, which is initially available to about half the population of Belgium, offers 55 channels, available free of charge at the launch. The VOD catalog will include thousands of films. Belgacom will also be offering a number of sports programming packages, including upcoming football championships (Belgacom Skynet's division recently acquired the TV broadcasting rights to the Jupiler League and the Italian A Series). Belgacom is currently upgrading its access network to VDSL and ADSL2+.

Belgacom is offering free activation through August. After that, there will be an activation charge of EUR 59. The decoder and the remote control are rented to subscribers for EUR 6 per month. VOD titles are priced from EUR 2 to EUR 6 per film. Sports programming is extra. For the Jupiler League, viewers purchase access to nine matches per weekend for EUR 25 per month; or a premium subscription, which gives viewers access to the three best matches of the weekend for EUR 15 per month. Pay Per View football matches are EUR 8 per match.


  • In September 2004, Siemens selected nCUBE's On Demand platform to power Video On Demand in an interactive digital television (iDTV) pilot of Siemens' SURPASS Home Entertainment turnkey solution for Belgacom. The project was described as the first order for Siemens' SURPASS home entertainment solution. In addition to nCUBE, Siemens is working with a number of partners for its SURPASS home entertainment solution including Myrio for the middleware to enable the application, Verimatrix for content protection system, and Tandberg Television for the video broadcast equipment.

  • In April 2005, Siemens Communications acquired Myrio, a supplier of IPTV middleware, for an undisclosed sum. Siemens Venture Capital made a strategic investment in the Seattle-based start-up in late 2003. In addition to the account successes with Siemens AG in Europe and Asia, Myrio also has more than 65 other customers globally.


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