Tiscali powers down IPTV service
Italian service provider Tiscali was planning as of last week to shut down its IPTV service in its home country on Dec. 31. The company sent a letter to its roughly 50,000 subscribers in late December saying the service would shut down at the end of the month. Not much further detail was available. Tiscali, which also operates an IPTV service in the U.K., had signed an agreement with Cisco Systems less than three months ago to have the vendor supply it with additional video gear. However, Tiscali also reportedly had been trying to sell some assets, including its IPTV operations, during the course of 2008. Additionally, it was a later entrant in the Italian market after IPTV pioneer FastWeb and incumbent national telco Telecom Italia. Wind Telecommunications is yet another competitor in Italy.
The ending of the service certainly could be viewed only as a consequence of one company's numerous challenges. But, with Tiscali's move and the recent announcement by SES Americom that it is shutting down its IP-Prime wholesale service, the IPTV sector will be worth watching closely in the first half of 2009 to see if negative feelings about the market opportunity become a growing trend.
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