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Belgacom Launches IPTV Services

Belgacom announced the commercial launch of digital TV services over its ADSL network. Belgacom's business model is to rent the set-top box and remote control for EUR 6 per month, provide free access to dozens of channels including the country's top stations, and charge extra for VOD and sports programming. Siemens provided the end-to-end solution, based on the Surpass Home Entertainment concept. Belgacom said its key differentiators would be better digital image and sound quality, exclusive and more interesting content, and an Electronic Program Guide that lets viewers tailor their content choices. In the near future, Belgacom will offer PVR capabilities and the onscreen surfing capabilities. Belgacom TV, which is initially available to about half the population of Belgium, offers 55 channels, available free of charge at the launch. The VOD catalog will include thousands of films. Belgacom will also be offering a number of sports programming packages, including upcoming football championships. Belgacom is currently upgrading its access network to VDSL and ADSL2+. VOD titles are priced from EUR 2 to EUR 6 per film.

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