, Belgium's biggest telco operator, has topped the 100,000 mark for its interactive, digital IPTV offering faster than expected. Instead of the end of the year, as originally anticipated, the Belgian operator reached exactly 102,971 subscribers for its IPTV offering back at the end of September 2006. The solution is based on Surpass Home Entertainment from Siemens
, a turnkey end-to-end solution for IPTV that is brought into Belgian households via the ADSL telephone line.
Discussing its financial results for the third quarter, the Belgian fixed-network and mobile operator Belgacom drew attention to the particular success of its IPTV services – i.e. television via IP-based broadband lines. As early as the end of September 2006, Belgacom TV had already registered 102,971 customers. The net ARPU (average revenue per user) stood at 11.6 euros for the first nine months of 2006. This figure showed a rise in the third quarter which can obviously be traced to the introduction of additional services such as "Rewatching TV" and special offerings sorted by topic.
In mid-2004, Belgacom chose Siemens as its partner for developing its interactive digital TV offering. The Belgacom TV offering includes all the major TV broadcasters. A pay-per-view offering is also available, as well as a digital videotheque with around 300 movies for video on demand. Subscriptions for watching soccer have already proved to be especially popular, with Belgacom's exclusive broadcasting rights allowing fans to follow the matches in the Belgian league live.
Various surveys have shown Belgacom that its customers are particularly impressed by the excellent sound and image quality of Belgacom TV, while they also praised the operator for adding new services to its offering within such a short space of time.
Under the name SURPASS Home Entertainment, Siemens supplies a proven best-of-breed IPTV solution, deployed by more broadband service providers than any other IPTV software solution today. Siemens was the first in the world to implement such commercial turnkey solutions for carriers and service providers in Europe and Asia and had its first U.S. deployment in 2000. It is the solution of choice for more than 85 operators worldwide. The SURPASS Home Entertainment solution from Siemens is based on the leading and proven IPTV middleware from Myrio Corporation, a Siemens company. The award-winning IPTV platform from Siemens is rounded out by software components for encryption and content protection, a video on demand server, a TV Headend, and set-top boxes. Siemens has bundled these various elements in an end-to-end solution that ensures smooth interaction of all components and minimizes the costs and effort of implementation and the risks for the carrier.