Smart Telecom eyes April IPTV launch

Ireland's Smart Telecom says it's planning an April soft-launch for its DSL-based multichannel IPTV service in the 37 unbundled exchanges in which it currently offers broadband. "We will begin with a soft-launch where we will select customers closest to exchanges or who are on the smaller copper loop closest to the exchange and once we're happy with the quality of service, we will begin a general rollout," COO Pio Murtagh said.
Smart recently said it planned to invest some $4 million in a MPEG 4 IPTV headend and middleware solution from French provider, Thomson. The new platform will let Smart deliver more than 100 TV and radio channels to an addressable 550,000 homes across Ireland. Smart's been on a tear of late, promising to move Ireland to the top of Europe's broadband ranks (it currently sits 12th out of 15 nations in the European Competitive Telecommunications Association's current penetration figures).
Yesterday, the company announced a rollout of its high-speed symmetrical business broadband packages for the SME and corporate markets designed for domain transfer, web hosting, email, IP address, videoconferencing, VOIP and enhanced upload requirements. Smart launched a similar residential product recently.
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