China Telecom, China’s largest fixed line telecom company and third largest mobile provider has announced plans for cross platform video services in Shanghai.
The new services will deliver premium video content to personal computers, TVs with internet capability and mobile phones. These services will be delivered through a joint venture between China Telecom, Tri-Sun Electronic Technology, Intelligent Grouping and Resource Sharing (IGRS) Working Group and the local government. Tri-Sun’s General Manager, Wang Gui, said the joint venture will initially have approximately RMB 100 mln in funds, and subsequent funding is under discussion. Tri-Sun will provide an integrated communications platform, IGRS will draft standards, and China Telecom will provide network infrastructure and video content services.
It’s not yet clear whether the new services will be compatible with China Telecom’s existing IPTV based services. China Telecom pioneered Internet TV (IPTV) launching their first services in Shanghai in 2006. Having a virtual monopoly on broadband services within the city, they have been able control the market by including IPTV services with all new and updated broadband accounts. Since launching in 2006, IPTV is now available in 17 cities across China. However, as most IPTV users already have ethernet cabling to their set-top boxes, it should be a simple process to hook up a new box or Internet TV to the new service.