Telefonica and Microsoft Announce Multiyear Agreement

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Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica and Microsoft announced a multiyear agreement to create a Global Video Platform (GVP) that will handle video entertainment across all Telefonica businesses. The GVP will stream TV services to both IP and over-the-top networks, and will first be deployed in Brazil, Chile, and Spain. That list will grow over the next few years, says Telefonica.

The GVP is built on Microsoft Mediaroom, which Telefonica says will bring high-performance TV services to its customers, including time-shifting and multiscreen viewing. Consumers can access content on a range of devices while at home or away, such as set-top boxes, Xbox 360 game consoles, tablets, and smartphones. Mediaroom uses Microsoft Playready, Smooth Streaming, and Silverlight to serve multiple types of devices with a common group of technologies. Telefonica says this unified system will bring decreased time to market, lower cost of delivery, and scale efficiencies.

Early GVP efforts have already been put in place, with Brazil gaining IPTV service this month and Chile benefiting from a similar launch in Chile. Its first use, though, was in November, 2011, when the two companies launched 12 sports cannels on the Xbox 360.

"This new agreement focused on Telefónica's GVP further extends our alliance in the world of TV and video entertainment to a range of screens throughout the home and on the go, and the benefits will be enjoyed by many millions of people globally," says Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president for operator TV business at Microsoft.

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