Russian regional operator Volga Telecom – which operates in eleven cities in the Volga Federal District – has confirmed that it has launched IPTV services in all cities covered by its operational footprint. The operator will offer more than 100 TV channels, which have been divided into seven thematic packages. In addition, Volga is expected to unveil a video-on-demand (VoD) option and a range of other value added services (VAS), including catch-up options, parental controls and information services. Going forward, HD and 3D channels are scheduled for testing. Volga Telecom already offers cable and terrestrial TV services, with an estimated 277,500 customers at the end of September 2010.
Elsewhere, fellow Svyazinvest subsidiary North-West Telecom (NWT) has launched commercial IPTV services under the ‘Advanced Guard TV’ brand in the cities of Arkhangel, Vologda and Murmansk. The company has previously launched IPTV services in St. Petersburg, Novgorod and Kaliningrad, as well as in the Komi Republic. NWT currently claims an IPTV subscriber base of 30,500.
Finally, Center Telecom, which is also owned by Svyazinvest, has signed an agreement with Disney, under which the company’s animated and feature films will be made available in the video-on-demand library of its own ‘Domolink TV’ IPTV service. Over 40 Disney titles have been made available with immediate effect, including new releases such as Toy Story 3. Center Telecom recently stated that it intends to reach 150,000 IPTV subscribers by the end of 2011, compared to the 28,000 users it claimed by end- 2010.