BellSouth IPTV Trial Advances With Satellite Deal

BellSouth, the No. 3 U.S. local telephone company, said on Wednesday it signed a deal to receive satellite video services from SES Global as it moves ahead with test plans to deliver television over the Internet.

The deal with SES Global's U.S. arm, SES Americom, expands on a trial BellSouth began last year with Microsoft Corp to launch a new Internet-based TV system in mid-2006.

"SES Americom enables us to make additional content available to BellSouth's IPTV trial participants as we continue our analysis of this technology," said Don Granger, president of BellSouth Entertainment, in a statement.

SES Americom, the largest provider of satellite services in the United States, said it would provide BellSouth with video aggregation, encoding, monitoring and transport.

Atlanta-based BellSouth has been more cautious than its rivals about embracing IPTV as telecoms providers join a heated battle with cable operators, which have been offering low-cost phone calls over the Internet.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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