Smart Telecom, the Irish alternative operator that came close to folding in 2006, has announced a EUR2.5 million (USD3.4 million) investment in internet protocol TV (IPTV) technology in a bid to bring triple-play services to its 15,000 residential broadband customers. The operator plans to install a new MPEG4 IPTV headend and middleware investment to enable it to offer a suite of more than 100 TV and radio channels to a potential 550,000 homes across the Republic. The new service will be inaugurated in November, with a phased rollout planned to be unveiled for the wider broadband market in early 2008. Smart’s new service will foreground IPTV including video on demand (VoD), on-screen account management and on-screen phone line integration. ‘The triple-play market in Europe is expected to be worth EUR1 billion in 2007 yet is still in its absolute infancy in Ireland. This deal puts Smart Telecom at the cutting edge of interactive and integrated television services in Ireland,’ Pio Murtagh, chief operations officer at Smart Telecom, told siliconrepublic.com.