Swiss Company Launches TV-Over-Broadband Service

Switzerland's dominant telecommunications company has launched a TV-over-broadband service that offers more than 100 television channels and more than 70 radio stations.

Swisscom said its existing high-speed Internet customers will be able to watch and record those stations through its $24-a-month Bluewin TV service. Video on demand will cost extra.

The launch of the service was delayed a year because of technical difficulties, including problems with the development of software designed by Microsoft Corp.(MSFT ) for the set-top box.

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"We wanted to offer a mature service, so we worked on it for another year," Swisscom spokesman Christian Neuhaus said.

TV-over-broadband services, also known as IPTV, have so far been launched in France, Spain, Italy and Britain.

The technology is not yet compatible with high-definition television, which would require a tenfold increase in bandwidth.