Reliance Communication joined hands with Microsoft

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Reliance Communications and Microsoft have entered
into an eight-year exclusive alliance for IPTV services,
which the former plans to launch in India by March 2008.

RCom will pay up to $500 million to Microsoft in licence fees
for the US company’s Mediaroom IPTV software platform.

“There is no other country where we have signed up an exclusive
deal with anybody,” said Mr Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, at
a press conference on Monday.

The deal will also be unique in terms of the scale of deployment
that RCom is targeting, “India being a large country with a large

RCom will provide the service first in Mumbai and Delhi, moving
to 30 large cities subsequently, said Mr Anil D. Ambani, Chairman,

The service will be delivered through RCom’s fibre optic network,
which covers 13,000 towns and five lakh villages in India.

However, officials from neither company would comment on the
pricing strategy for the initiative.

The platform will enable Reliance’s IPTV service to deliver
video-on-demand, digital video recording, instant channel
changing and personal media sharing. Subscribers will be able
to watch popular standard definition as well as high definition