Optus has announced its intentions to launch an IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service in partnership with FetchTV, with what the telco calls "integrated mobile functionality" for smartphones and tablets. It is not clear whether this means a mobile IPTV service, or IPTV over home broadband with limited mobile interactivity.
Update: A representative of Optus has confirmed to Good Gear Guide that Optus's planned IPTV service with FetchTV will be "not just a mobile offering", and will include a broadband IPTV service with some degree of mobile integration.
No further information has been released by Optus or FetchTV, including any information on which devices or platforms that the planned IPTV service would be available on. It is possible that Optus is planning an IPTV service to be delivered to mobile phone and tablet users over its 3G mobile phone network, although the company also has the infrastructure to deliver a home IPTV service over broadband.
Telstra already has IPTV in consumers’ homes with its T-Box and BigPond Movies services. Optus offers Foxtel as part of a bundle with its ‘yes’ Fusion home phone and broadband Internet bundles, putting it in competition with Telstra.
The service is scheduled for a launch in the second half of 2011. Optus' statement says that the move is "part of [its] broader TV strategy to develop a suite of converged video services." No pricing information is available, with further announcements to be made "closer to launch".
Optus Digital Media director Austin Bryan said in the statement, "The way people view and engage with video content is changing rapidly. Optus wants to be at the forefront of this change which is why we're partnering with FetchTV to develop a unique TV offering across multiple devices. With its strong content line-up and innovative delivery platform, we believe FetchTV is the best partner to help us develop a service which will provide customers with a fantastic user experience."