TDS turns on Microsoft Mediaroom for its fledgling IPTV service

TDS Telecom (NYSE: TDS) has decided to replace the Minerva IPTV platform with Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Mediaroom for its growing TV platform in Farragut and Mt. Juliet, Tenn.--its two initial IPTV service markets.

By using the Mediaroom platform, TDS will be able to deliver 260 all-digital channels including HDTV, video pay-per-view, picture-in-picture channel surfing, instant channel change and a Connected-Home DVR which can support up to eight TVs. 

Tony Bugher, market manager for TDS, said one of the benefits of the Microsoft platform is that it "offers more functionality, especially when it comes to the DVR."

Although TDS has been a bit more conservative in its IPTV rollout, it is making continual progress with the service, offering it in six markets. Besides Farragut and Mt. Juliet, the service provider has rolled out IPTV in La Vergne, Tenn., Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  

TDS has set an ambitious rollout plan for IPTV. Last January, the service provider said it would extend IPTV into an additional 19 markets throughout 2013 as demand dictates.

As seen with other fellow telcos like CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and AT&T (NYSE: T), TDS is finding that, in the markets where it currently offers IPTV, eligible consumers are taking a triple play bundle that includes voice and broadband data services. Leveraging VDSL2, the company can deliver 25 Mbps to 25 percent of its footprint, with plans to reach 40 Mbps over its existing copper plant. Meanwhile, customers who are served by one of its FTTH networks can get speeds that scale beyond 25 Mbps.

While TDS has not announced its Q4 earnings yet, in Q3 2012 the telco reported that it had a total of 6,700 IPTV customers. During that quarter, ILEC triple play penetration increased to 31 percent, up from 28 percent year-over-year.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: Wireline telecom earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012

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