Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Swisscom Launches Bluewin IPTV Service

Swisscom officially launched its Bluewin IPTV service, offering 100-plus television channels, 70-plus radio channels, live sports coverage and an initial VOD library of 500-plus films.

The monthly fee for the basic offering, Bluewin TV Plus, is CHF 29 (US$23).

Bluewin is delivered over either an ADSL or VDSL connection. Customers in areas which do not yet provide VDSL access can have only one TV channel transmitted at a time, and pay CHF 26 instead of CHF 29 for the basic package.

The set-top box functions as a PVR and provides over 100 hours of recording capacity. Bluewin TV is installed by a specialist at the customer's home for a charge of CHF 95. Households with two television sets require a second Bluewin TV set-top box. This costs CHF 10 a month.

Bluewin TV currently covers around 75% (or 2.3 million) of Swiss households. Some 65% (or 2 million) of households have access to VDSL technology. VDSL cells are currently being deployed with a copper distance to the subscriber of 1,500m. Smaller cells with a radius of 750 meters will be gradually added, increasing bandwidth to 30 Mbps. There are 14 regional metro networks across Switzerland that have been upgraded to 10GbE.

Swisscom is operating digital headend stations in Olten and Volketswil. The server farms are located in Herdern, Zurich.

Key network components include:

  • Microsoft's IPTV software

  • HP servers -- well over 200 servers are used for the operational system

  • Tandberg encoders -- Bluewin is using VC-1 encoding.

  • Linksys CPE, including set-top boxes



See also