UPC Ireland is to launch a triple-play service consisting of digital TV, broadband internet and telephony with the first phase scheduled for the new residential development at Adamstown in Dublin.
The digital telephony element of the new triple-play bundle uses voice over IP technology, which UPC said would enable future services including video telephony and integration of mobile and fixed lines. The telephony service will be delivered directly over the cable infrastructure without the need for a copper-wire phone line and consequently without the need for line rental.
The service offers most of the features currently available on traditional fixed-line networks including caller number display and call forwarding. No computer is needed to use the service: users can plug their current telephone into their existing cable connection.
UPC, which owns the cable operators NTL Ireland and Chorus, has not released pricing details yet for the new telephony service except to say that it will be “competitive”. The company said it plans to make an announcement on this early next month.
First to avail of the service will be residents in Adamstown, Lucan, Co Dublin in July. UPC said that it would continue to roll out telephony as part of its triple-play services across its NTL and Chorus national networks. The service will be rolled out to Galway and Waterford from the fourth quarter of this year, the company added.
UPC also said that it shortly plans to introduce more features for its digital TV service such as digital video recording and high-definition TV as well as interactive services.
The development of a telephony service to complement its TV and broadband offering comes after several years of promises by NTL, now a UPC subsidiary. Across Europe, UPC Broadband offers telephony services in the Netherlands, Hungary, France and Switzerland and recently added Austria, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic to its market list. The company claims to have more than a million voice customers in Europe.
By Gordon Smith