Vodafone preps IPTV set-top for launch in Spain and Germany

Vodafone is pushing ahead with its TV strategy with plans to launch IPTV services before the end of this year in Spain and Germany using hybrid set top boxes.

The company, which failed to succeed with an earlier IPTV venture in Germany, said its hybrid set-top would be capable of connecting to existing free-to-air and pay-TV services in both countries, and digital satellite and analogue cable services in Germany. The Spanish set-top will receive digital terrestrial transmission.

The company said that its IPTV offering would lie on top of these services in the form of linear channels and video-on-demand, while the middleware would be supplied by NDS in Germany and, in Spain, by WyPlay.

The decision by Vodafone to use hybrid set-tops is being seen as enabling the company to enter a market without the need to compete directly with incumbent operators. In both countries, Vodafone is set to take advantage of existing platforms to further their broadband business--with the objective of gaining transactional revenue from VoD while tying customers into high-speed broadband packages.

This renewed effort by Vodafone to launch IPTV-based services in two countries indicates that it believes this is a business strategy worth pursing on a wider basis, helped by the ongoing transition to digital TV services across Europe.

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