Microsoft, India's Reliance seal $500m internet deal

Microsoft and India's Reliance Communications announced a partnership to take internet-based television services to Indian homes, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Reliance Communications will pay Microsoft about $500 million in license fees to use its software for internet Protocol Television, or IPTV, service, which delivers high-quality video over phone lines to home television sets.

Reliance Communications plans to launch the service in March next year, the report said.

The Associated Press report also quoted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as saying that the tie-up targets the mass market in India, whereas in the Western countries IPTV mostly focuses on affluent customers.

There are currently about 100 million households in India with a television and the market is growing between 20%-25% annually, fueled by the country's rapid economic expansion in recent years, the report said.