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Open IPTV Forum gains toehold in Middle East

Industry trade body the Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) has gained three important new members, including its first in the Middle East: Saudi Telecom Company (STC).

The other new members are South Korean set-top box vendor Humax, and JT Group (Jersey Telecom), the leading network operator in the Channel Islands, an archipelago located off the coast of northern France.

JT Group is currently deploying a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network across the island of Jersey, with completion expected by 2015, giving every home and business on the island access to some of the world’s fastest broadband speeds. The company also expects to launch IPTV services on the new network.

Saudi Telecom meanwhile is the largest telecoms provider in the Middle East, with annual revenues of nearly US$ 16bn, and launched its own commercial IPTV service in 2010.

Finally, Humax is one of the world’s largest set-top box vendors, and is a key partner in the UK’s connected TV initiative YouView. The partners behind the latter project will announce the first commercial products this Wednesday (July 4th) – more details here.

Dr Nilo Mitra, President, of the Open IPTV Forum, commented that the three new members have arrived a “critical” time for the organisation, as it plans the first trial deployments of OIPF technology in live networks.

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