Primus plans to launch own IPTV

Primus is steadily moving ahead with its NBN growth plans

iPrimus plans to deploy its own internet protocol television (IPTV) service as part of its National Broadband Network (NBN) offering.

Tom Mazerski, CEO at Primus, told Computerworld Australia the HD television service, which is in advanced planning, will be run over the Primus fibre which is also being used to service homes for the NBN.

iPrimus’ IPTV will broadcast free-to-air channels, other television channels, such as the Disney channel, and sporting programs on its fibre.

“As the technology develops and as the products come to market, people will really learn to love the service and you can do this all in a very cost effective way because you’re only putting the fibre in one time and then the cost is already sunk,” Mazerski said.

“We just see it as the future.”

There are currently several IPTV services in the Australian market. For example, Telstra’s T-box service, which integrates free-to-air channels with BigPond and Foxtel channels, applications such as YouTube and Picasa, sports and movies.

TPG also has its own IPTV service which allows users to watch selected television channels through their computer on its ADSL2+ connection. The telco is currently offering this service free to customers with their broadband connections.

Several other telcos also currently provide the fetchTV IPTV service, including Optus, iiNet, Internode and Westnet, which delivers free-to-air channels, TV on demand, movies, apps and games.

Primus is also trying to acquire customers that will connect to the NBN by offering other incentives – it wants to achieve 10 to 15 per cent marketshare of the NBN market and be the first to sign up customers in each of the NBN rollout areas.

While Mazerski said other telcos are “just doing the same old thing, the same old way”, one of Primus’ main strategies at the moment is bringing customers on-board now and seamlessly transferring them to the NBN once it is rolled out in their area.

“In all the five major CBDs in Australia, we have fibre rings and that’s just an evolution over the past 10 plus years of Primus where we’ve built our own fibre. So we will differentiate [ourselves] by being one of the first, if not the first, to offer an end-to-end fibre solution for customers," Mazerski said.

Having this end-to-end solution, he said, will allow the telco to offer other products and services beyond the NBN.

Primus has also started rolling out its optical transmission network to aggregate lower bandwidth services, such as email, and optimise utilisation to enable high capacity data services, such as video streaming.

“We were first in the market to place it ... It offers a very robust broadband product to customers where they can get up to 40gig of data and soon to be 100[gig]. You can immediately turn up services based on customer needs,” Mazerski said.

While he wouldn’t divulge how many customers Primus currently has on the NBN, he said it has at least one customer in each area where the NBN has been launched.

Primus has had a close relationship with NBN Co, receiving accreditation in December last year to deliver fixed-line telephone services on the NBN and also recently announced it is working on a trial of NBN Co’s UNI-V Enhancement Program, which is expected to be completed in August or September this year.

However, Mazerski was quick to point out that the relationship with the company is one which has also been offered to other retail service providers (RSPs).

“There’s no special treatment. We’ve just applied ourselves a lot harder than most, obviously, to get to where we are ... It’s more of a whoever wants it or whoever’s hungry enough gets it, basically. It’s a very open process where all other RSPs are treated exactly the same,” he said.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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