From Colin Mann in Monte Carlo
Monaco Telecom has launched the Principality's next generation, connected TV experience, bringing the telco's vision of tomorrow's connected home a step closer to reality. The initiative comprises three new developments: the launch of a new generation TVBox, the arrival of a number of new channels and video on demand and the launch of a 30Mbps ultra-broadbandâ€š at the same price as broadband.
Available immediately, digital television gives access to a new and free of charge minimum service consisting of 18 DTT channels, which can be received by all households in the Principality by simply adjusting the television set or adding a suitable decoder. The principality has been modernising its cable TV network for some years now in order to make it entirely digital and to be able to offer an equivalent quality of service to the residents of Monaco. The E10 million upgrade was carried out by the telco with support from the Principality's Department of Public Works, Environment and Town Planning.
Monaco Telecom has partnered with IPTV provider Netgem to introduce the service's new TVBox, which gives access to a larger number of interactive and recording functions, as well as a catalogue of 3,000 international films in VoD, HD television and OTT content on the TV. The service combines digital cable-delivered broadcast HDTV and pay-TV channels with OTT TV services into one, branded user experience. OTT services provided by Netgem include VOD films from Netgem's sister company Video Futur and a bespoke, interactive Monaco Telecom channel that aggregates its existing online weather, traffic and news services, updating content updated in real time.
“Its an important day for Monaco Telecom; we've been preparing for it for a long time,” said Martin PÃ©ronnet, General Manager of Monaco Telecom. The service had been announced by Netgem and Monaco Telecom at the IBC broadcast technology trade fair in September 2009, but PÃ©ronnet stressed that the telco didn't want to launch the service until it was satisfied it could offer the consistency of quality expected by Monaco residents. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, inaugurating the service, said that it was important that the Principality joined the rest of the international community in making the switch to digital.
Christophe Aulnette, Managing Director of Netgem, said the Monaco Telecom deployment represented an interesting challenge for his company as it was a converged communications provider in a densely-populated area.