Monday, September 05, 2005

IP TV testing to start soon

It looks like Lattelekom will start testing IP TV (cable television using internet protocol over copper-wire phone line) within a few weeks, possibly as early as the beginning of October. This will not be a commercial launch, but a limited test of the service using, most probably, DSL technology. The Ericsson ADSL2+ equipment is already in place. Within its limits, the technology should work, the real issue is what the content will be and what it will cost. It is hard to imagine tacking on a hefty TV fee on top of an LVL 15 HomeDSL monthly fee, especially with 100 channels of Baltkom TV digital cable available for around LVL 10 per month (of course, their triple play phone-internet-tv costs more). Lattelekom will essentially have to underprice Baltkom's triple play, offer competitive content and, somehow, pry away some of the 10 000 high end users that Baltkom TV claims to have (many others watch digital satellite and are off the wired TV grid). On the internet side, this means increasing the average connection speed by several orders of magnitude for a competitive price. So, perhaps, watch for a cost/connection speed shift yet again on the Lattelekom DSL network (there are no others :)). The last time, speeds were doubled for both home and business services, which is a way to cut relative price without reducing actual income per line.


ZBH said...

How can LTK compete with Baltcom, if DSL can't be used with (far not) all pairs of a "backbone" cable because of crosstalks? IMHO they must compete with Ethernet providers at first, and not with a (DSL) price only, of course :)

Juris Kaža said...

ZBH, this is an interesting point that should be looked into. There are 56 000 home-connected DSL users (both HomeDSL and City Internet) and just over 600 000 copper-wire subscribers. Given the "bardaks" inside many apartment buildings as far as wirinmg goes, it is hard to say whether all digital exchange subscribers can actually get DSL because of the problem you mentioned. However, in Sweden, my oldest two "kids" (20 and 18) have DSL speeds of 8 to 10 Mbps.