Belgian telco Belgacom has started offering apps for its IPTV service ‘Belgacom TV’, with eight apps being launched initially and many others to arrive in 2013.
Four of the eight launch apps are for free interactive children’s books, developed by French firm Chocolapps: The Three Little Pigs, Snow White, Peter Pan, and The Jungle Book. Each app has a video mode and an accompanying reading mode, and is available in four languages (Dutch, French, English and German).
There is also an app for football fans which gives access to statistics on all the major Belgian and European football clubs and championships, and a chat app for football fans that lets them display chat conversations from websites such as La Dernière Heure, Het Nieuwsblad and Skynet whilst watching the game.
Rounding out the list of free apps available at launch is a basketball app which gives continuous access to the stats on all the clubs participating in the Belgian division 1 basketball league, and a TV Maps app which lets users search and display any location in the world on their TV screen, either in classic map view or in satellite view.
Describing this new applications platform as fitting in with Belgacom’s convergence strategy, the company adds that it will now be possible to find the same applications on Belgacom TV, PCs, tablets and smartphones. Other TV channels have also been invited to also offer their existing applications on Belgacom TV.
“Belgacom’s content strategy is to make the TV offer evolve towards a richer, more comprehensive viewing experience based on entertainment on all screens,” said Bruno Chauvat, Executive Vice President Strategy & Content at Belgacom.
“With the launch of this “applications store”, Belgacom provides a clear example of convergence by integrating TV with the world of applications, which until now was reserved to the Internet and smartphones. Moreover, we are proud to offer a so-called edutainment app (Chocolapps), which contributes to child development.”
Belgacom took over the development of its IPTV platform earlier this year from Nokia Siemens Networks, at the same time purchasing some of the latter’s IPTV assets, and had reached 1.34mn customers for its IPTV service by the end of the third quarter of this year, after adding 39,000 new subscriptions in the three-month period.