The Russian alternative telco Vimpelcom is to move full steam ahead with the Corbina IPTV project.
Quoting Vimpelcom’s development director Dmitry Bragin, Cableman reports that the project has now become a priority for the telco, which plans to launch an IPTV service in St Petersburg by the end of this year and in over a dozen cities in 2010.
Significantly, Vimpelcom is understood to be in negotiations with Microsoft for the purchase of IPTV equipment, though any deal will have to be at a discounted price to allow the telco to proceed with a major rollout of services across the country.
Although the Corbina IPTV project was first announced in 2006, a planned launch in 2008 failed to materialise. A commercial debut took place in May, and as of the end of June Vimpelcom had around 15,000 IPTV subscribers.
Russia is already the leading IPTV market in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with the Stream TV service operated by Comstar-UTS having the highest number of subscribers.