Microsoft Australian Alliance In Optus Partnership

    June 20, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

An agreement between Microsoft’s ninemsn presence and telecom company Optus for content delivery has been made.

Broadband and mobile customers of the Australian telecom firm Optus will be able to receive content from provider ninemsn. Australia’s top Internet portal is co-owned by Publishing and Broadcasting Limited and Microsoft.

Microsoft Australian Alliance In Optus Partnership

The deal puts a crimp in rival Telstra’s plans to deliver Microsoft’s Internet television application, IPTV, as a platform for broadband television services. Telstra had been working on local projects with Microsoft previously. Optus and ninemsn may offer IPTV services in the future.

“We welcome the entry of more players into the online content space,” Telstra said in a prepared statement. “We are sure that our market-leading movies, music and games sites will make us more than a match.”

“This is a major realignment of the multimedia networks in Australia and it is a very significant event for us,” Optus chief executive Paul O’Sullivan said.

PBL chairman James Packer said ninemsn would not partner with other telecom companies on the same level as Optus. “We’ve got a significantly preferred relationship with Optus, and vice-versa,” he said.

Microsoft has been developing Internet Protocol Television as an option for telecom and cable companies. For telcos, IPTV would let them offer digitally delivered content over their broadband networks.

Those potential offerings could be video on demand or digital recording services. For cable, Microsoft touts the ability to utilize bandwidth currently used for analog traffic and transition it to digital. Then, that bandwidth could be used for more revenue-generating services.

“IPTV could do more for MSOs (multiple service operator, ie., cable operator) than just free up bandwidth. It has the potential to enable them to offer next-generation TV services that take advantage of their two-way broadband infrastructures,” said Lynne Elander, Microsoft IPTV general manager, in a CableWorld magazine interview.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.