Switzerland’s largest telco by subscribers Swisscom will offer its DSL customers free access to basic IPTV services in a bid to compete with cable-based rivals, Broadband TV News reports. The free service consists of 60 channels, 22 of which are available in high definition (HD) and will require a Swisscom TV Box which will be made available from 1 December. Existing Swisscom TV subscribers meanwhile will receive a boost to the number of channels available up to a total 110.
Swisscom’s move is believed to be a direct response to plans put forward by its nearest competitor in the broadband market, US-backed UPC Cablecom, to drop encryption on 55 TV channels (19 HD) from 1 January 2013. As a result, customers will be able to view the channels with any digital TV reception device and without a smartcard. The cableco will eliminate the current CHF4 (USD4.22) per month fee currently being charged for the service, and will boost its minimum broadband speed to 2Mbps for no extra cost.