FetchTV signs Optus for mobile move

IPTV service to move to smartphones from second half of this year

Australia’s second largest telco will move the popular FetchTV service to smartphones and tablets in the second half of 2011, in a partnership that garners the fourth local contract for the internet protocol television (IPTV) provider.

The service will mark FetchTV’s first moves to mobile devices, after three years of development and its first official launch with iiNet in April last year. The service has so far been available as a set-top box to customers of iiNet and regional subsidiary Westnet, as well as Internode. Adelaide-based provider Adam Internet is also expected to launch the service soon.

In a statement, Optus digital media director, Austin Bryant, said the partnership with FetchTV was part of the telco's converged media strategy, a ploy currently being pushed by other Australian providers.

Details of the service under Optus, such as pricing and device compatibility, are expected to be revealed closer to launch. It is also unknown whether the telco will offer the FetchTV set top box under the partnership.

The service is only one of two major IPTV solutions currently available in Australia, along with Telstra’s T-Box. Apart from the likes of Apple’s rebooted Apple TV, the local market has so far lacked competitive, provider-agnostic IPTV and on-demand media devices.

Despite rumours of an expansion by US-based Hulu to Australia under a partnership with the Nine Network, no plans for this have been confirmed beyond an application by the company to IP Australia in March.

Telstra reported in its half-year financial results that it had sold 107,000 of its T-Box devices by the end of 2010. By contrast, iiNet currently has more than 2000 customers using the FetchTV service, while an Internode spokesperson said usage on its network was in the hundreds under a purposefully limited customer trial of the device.

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Tags IPTVoptusFetchTV

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