AT&T, America's largest telecoms group formed from the merger of SBC Communications and AT&T last year, is to launch a high-definition television version of its internet protocol TV (IPTV) service, U-verse, next month.
Developed by SBC Communications under the Project Lightspeed initiative, U-verse launched in June in San Antonio. U-verse delivers digital TV and high-speed broadband services via a fibre-optic network stretching into residential neighbourhoods.
AT&T said it had already signed 3,000 homes to U-verse in San Antonio, 10% of homes marketed to. The telco will launch U-verse next in Houston next month where its HDTV trial is under way.
By the end of 2006 AT&T aims to have U-verse up and running in 15 US cities across 13 US states.
U-verse competes head on with US cable operators such as Comcast and Time Warner. Rival telco Verizon is also rolling out an IPTV service across the US.
AT&T prefers to use the phrase "three screens" for its U-verse triple-play of digital TV, high speed internet and fixed voice telephony. It is currently waiting for regulatory approval for its merger with BellSouth which will give it whole ownership of Cingular Wireless, adding mobile telephony to the bundle in a quad-play move.
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