Financial Times

SLT to Launch IPTV Services with UTStarcom assistance

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is to launch its much-talked of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) for the first time in Sri Lanka tomorrow (Monday) with the assistance of UTStarcom headquartered in California, USA, officials said.

The official launching of the new service was scheduled for August but it was slightly delayed due to some infrastructure issues. The channels presently available on the SLT IPTV test transmissions are Rupavahini, Channel Eye, ITN, Max, HBO, HBO Signature, HBO Hits, HBO Family, CNN, BBC World, NDTV 24X7, Al Jazeera, Ujala, Peace TV, Spacetoons, Colors, DD Sports, VH1, MTV, Nickolodean, STC, B4U Music, NDTV Good Times, Ceebies BBC, Zee Music and a few other Hindi channels.

Officials said UTStarcom, Inc. has entered into a multi-million dollar contract recently with Sri Lanka’s Just In Time Holdings Pvt Ltd. to supply its industry-leading RollingStream(R) end-to-end IPTV solution to SLT. This has enabled the SLT to launch IPTV services without much delay, a senior official of the SLT told The Sunday Times FT. UTStarcom is a global leader in IP-based, end-to-end networking solutions and international service and support. The company sells its broadband, wireless, and handset solutions to operators in both emerging and established telecommunications markets around the world, he said .

SLT has set up a subsidiary to broadcast IPTV to its broadband customers. The company has invested $1 million in the initial launch of the SLT Visioncom unit. SLT says IPTV is a value-added service with strategic importance in the future broadband service portfolio of the company.

SLT, a provider of international and domestic voice, Internet, and data services, will use the RollingStream platform to bring IPTV services to its growing customer base throughout Sri Lanka. SLT, with more than 87 percent market share and a wireline subscriber base of more than 1,300,000 customers, expects to grow its residential and commercial business through its increased triple play capabilities now available with this IPTV deployment. It is designed to support approximately 100,000 subscribers in the next two years and will enable the company to provide video services to future subscribers over copper lines in the next three to four years.

The product was to be launched by SLT Visioncom, a fully owned subsidiary of SLT. The company had operated the IPTV service as a pilot project among 100 customers and found that some channels are not working properly. SLT engineers have rectified the defect and they also upgraded its ADSL system to ADSL 2+, to facilitate the launch of the IPTV service.

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