30 May 2007

SingTel says it will focus on boosting content for its upcoming internet protocol television or IPTV service

SingTel says it will focus on boosting content for its upcoming internet protocol television or IPTV service.

This follows feedback from users who took part in a six-month trial which ended in April.

When launched later this year, IPTV users will be able to watch TV programmes and buy videos through their broadband connection, accessed via a set-top box connected to their TV sets.

SingTel is still keeping mum about the exact launch date of its upcoming IPTV service as well as the content line-up and price plans.

But the telco took pains at a news briefing on Wednesday to differentiate its service from other existing pay TV offerings.

It stressed that IPTV will be more than just watching TV on the computer, like MobTV, or transferring PC content to the TV set, like M2B World.

Low Ka Hoe, Director, IPTV and Content, SingTel, said: "Offering a pay TV service is not about offering features. It's about offering content ultimately. So obviously customers have fed back that all the features are good, but ultimately what they want is the kind of channels that they want to watch, the content that they want to watch.

"For the trial, obviously we had a limited content line-up, strictly for the technical trial. When we launch our service commercially, obviously content will be a huge focus for us."

The battle for content will be fierce.

And for SingTel it is expected to be a big challenge as it has already been outbid by StarHub for rights to broadcast the hugely-popular English Premier League football matches for the next three years.

Analysts say the success of IPTV is critical for SingTel as the service allows the telco to take on StarHub head-on on all three services - TV, data and voice.

StarHub has gained market share in recent years, through its "hubbing" strategy of packaging the three services.

The Media Development Authority gave SingTel the go-ahead in January this year to launch its commercial pay TV service.

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