Microsoft IPTV’s New Set Back

Microsoft’s IPTV effort has received another set-back. A few weeks after Swisscom, an early Microsoft IPTV adopter delayed its IPTV plans because of technical issues, Australian incumbent, Telstra announced that it was not going to be taking part in trials with Microsoft. Australian telecom giant, Telstra says that it is dropping out of an IPTV trial with Microsoft. Telstra spokesman, Warwick Ponder, told the Wall Street Journal that “the decision had nothing to do with Microsoft’s technology, the spokesman didn’t rule out the possibility that Telstra would consider other vendors when it decides to move forward with television service.” Corporate double speak… don’t you think!

Microsoft is not discouraged and says it has a lot of customers, a list that is supposedly an envy of the entire industry. Take NZ Telecom for instance SBC, one of the most public backers of Microsoft IPTV made soothing noises and told the Journal that SBC wasn’t too concerned. Not yet? For SBC IPTV has been delayed by a few months. SBC says its plans are very different from the plans of Swisscom, and technical problems in Switzerland are different. Many believe that scalability is a big concern for most phone operators. Folks who are knowledgeable in this arena are quick to point out that none of the current IPTV deployments across the planet match the scale and ambition of US Bells. We will have to wait and how IPTV performs in such large numbers, as those outlined by SBC. (Also, Is Microsoft IPTV’s Weak Link?)

Meanwhile, folks at Siemens could not be happier, and have just announced a deal with Dutch telecom giant, KPN. KPN plans to introduce digital television over its DSL network for the first time during the course of this year, using the provisional designation “IP TV.” Siemens, telecom insiders believe, is in line to pick up the pieces if things don’t work out with Microsoft. They recently bought out Myrio, a company that had a little while ago. Alcatel, anyway has decided to bowout, hoping to make all its dollars from integration work.

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