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November 05, 2007

Microsoft Ties Up with Reliance for IPTV and WiMAX

By Raju Shanbhag
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications will join hands with Microsoft (News - Alert), world’s largest software firm, for several technological collaborations, including software for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), WiMAX and a software development toolkit for the Internet, the personal computer and mobile phones.

Steve Ballmer (News - Alert), CEO of Redmond-based software giant Microsoft, will be in India on November 5 and both the companies will finalize the blueprint for the collaboration. The relationship between the two companies dates back to 2003, when Reliance announced that Microsoft will use the existing Reliance fiber network to develop a solution for its IPTV services.

The IPTV (News - Alert) service could be rolled out by the Reliance Communications by the end of 2007. The company will receive technological support for this venture from Microsoft. According to a report in Hindustan Times, Ambani told analysts during a conference call on Thursday that the company’s IPTV roll out will happen in two months. He said R-Com had already finalized the necessary technological back up for the venture.

“We will launch IPTV launch in Mumbai and Delhi by year end,” Ambani said.

On his visit to India, Ballmer will also talk extensively about Silverlight 1.0, a software development toolkit for the Internet, PC and mobile phones, which Microsoft claims is the answer to Java. Java is currently the favorite platform for developers to develop content rich web sites and it is among the fastest growing and widely used programming languages. Microsoft is striving to start fruitful cooperation between coders and content providers like websites and telecom companies.

The partnership between the two companies will face tough competition from the other players like MTNL which has already implemented IPTV in Mumbai and Delhi. Other players like Airtel, Vodafone (News - Alert) and BSNL are in the process of introducing IPTV platform soon in India.

With the IPTV products being introduced by all these players, the Indian customers will be able to watch their favorite TV programming on their computers and mobile phones very soon.


Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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