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Turn To IPTV, Study Tells European Telcos

Under growing pressure due to declining revenues, European telecommunications operators will do well to turn to Internet Protocol television (IPTV) for further growth, a study said Tuesday.

Almost on cue, Deutsche Telecom announced it will begin delivering enhanced TV in a few months.

Frost and Sullivan, which released the report, noted that France Telecom, Telefonica of Spain, Telecom Iceland, and TeliaSonera of Sweden began deploying commercial TV over broadband last year. "Telecom operators launching IPTV can make it a success if they deliver a service that is truly differentiated from that of cable operators, not only in content but also in applications, customer service and overall user experience." senior industry analyst Fernando Elizalde said in a statement.

Service enhancements that can be enacted include on-screen programming information, time shifting features and multiple camera angles. The report noted that two-way communication capabilities can make for true interactivity between subscribers and networks.

To differentiate themselves from cable offerings, telecomm operators will have to procure and develop improved content and exclusive sports material, the market research firm said.