Spanish giant plays with IPTV

Spanish owned UK Mobile operator, Telefonica O2, is to begin playing in the IPTV space and is looking for modest investments in early start up video 2.0 businesses and mobile advertising. O2 UK launched a broadband service earlier in 2007, but had not announced its IPTV strategy.

Telefonica's director of innovation, Russ Shaw, will make investments on behalf of O2 Europe, Telefonica Spain and Telefonica Latin America and the expectation is Telefonica will sit on the boards of companies it takes a stake in. Shaw has already secured deals with two companies, one of which is London-based. Three more deals are expected imminently.

Telefonica is one of the world's big Telcos and the giant this week promoted Matthew Key, the man who won them the prestigious Apple iPhone contract in the UK, to chief executive of Telefonica O2 Europe. Mr Key, currently chief executive of O2 UK, will succeed veteran mobile network executive Peter Erskine,, who steps down age 57 to a non-executive role in January.

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