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O2 Preps Broadband IPTV Service For The UK
By: MarkJ - 17 December, 2007 (9:03 AM)

Trials of an O2 (Telefonica) based Internet TV (IPTV) service in the Czech market have proven so successful (70,000 customers) that the operators UK wing is now planning to introduce a similar product in the UK during 2008.

Technically speaking the news isn't new, with rumours of an IPTV service circling as far back as the operator’s acquisition of UK ISP 'Be'. However O2's recently introduced broadband packages made no mention of a TV service, leaving many to suspect that the idea had been dropped.

Even so, cracking the UK market could prove difficult as many rival operators suffer problems with similar services. BT's Vision hasn't grown as fast as it would have liked, Tiscali even appeared to lose customers and Orange recently delayed the commercial launch of its service until next year.

Certainly there is a market for such products, especially with Sky's TV-only option continuing to become more expensive and Virgin losing channels, albeit Sky's channels. However UK ADSL networks aren't ideal for IPTV and if your speeds are low then service quality has been known to suffer.

To top it all off, most IPTV products require you to be a customer of the same ISP’s broadband service, otherwise the caps and restrictions introduced by many rival providers can cause problems. Sadly this has the impact of further limiting choice and customer flexibility since many may desire the TV service but not the ISP and vica versa.

Having said all that, the ‘Be’ based O2 broadband service has proven strong so far and its ability to carry this over into an IPTV service may help.

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