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Telefonica, IPTV and Microsoft

By PETER WHITE

Published: 8 December, 2011

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Could Telefonica really be calling time on its Imagenio IPTV software the company has supported for the past decade, and installed across multiple locations around the world. Well if you believe a story that emerged in the Convergencia Digital web site in Brazil, that's certainly the case, with Telefonica planning to use software from Microsoft to support an IPTV play once its deal to acquire cellular operator ViVo completes. As far as we know this is purely cellular without any fixed lines in sight, so we're not quite sure how Telefonica will build an IPTV service.

The story was virtually a one liner, and the writer perhaps doesn't realize the significance if it is true. So far in Brazil Telefonica only has satellite TV services and does not use its Imagenio software there to support its 500,000 customers.

Telefonica built the Imagenio system and then handed it over to Alcatel for safe-keeping some years later, but has so far insisted that all its subsidiaries including those in Latin America and the Czech Republic who launch IPTV services have to also use the same software.

One possible explanation is that the story in Convergencia Digital is slightly wrong and perhaps instead of this being about a Mediaroom win, is about using adaptive streaming technology to handsets across the region using Microsoft's IIS. That wouldn't be strange at all.

One spokesman is supposed to have said, "Let's adopt the same platform as AT&T in the US," which clearly identifies this as Mediaroom, but we don't think it can be. Either way look to see the software emerging in other parts of Telefonica, whether this is a rejig of its IPTV strategy or an adaptation to accommodate tablets and an OTT strategy.

Telefonica has 3.2 million pay TV customers globally with just under 800,000 in its native Spain, with many of the rest in Latin America where it uses a combination of IPTV and DTH.

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