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AT&T, the largest US telecommunications group, trumpeted its success signing up an additional 15,000 video subscribers to its IPTV (Internet protocol TV) service so far this year and announced plans to roll out the U-verse service in the Los Angeles area in the coming weeks.
The San Antonio, Texas-based carrier launched the service in Texas late last year and ended 2006 with 3,000 U-verse customers, in line with its targets. AT&T said the U-verse service is now available to 200,000 homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and in parts of Milwaukee, Kansas City, Houston and San Antonio.
Like Verizon Communications, AT&T is building the fibre optic-based network so that it can offer video and other broadband services and compete more effectively with cable TV companies.
US telecommunications companies, like their European counterparts, view the video market as a potentially strong growth area that will help them offset the decline in their traditional voice business and counter the attack from cable TV companies which have begun to offer cut-price Internet telephony services.
AT&T lost 1.4m residential phone line last year, mostly to cable TV and wireless operators.
Separately AT&T said it will begin selling offering corporate customers integrated fixed and wireless voice and data packages satisfying an oft-voiced demand from business users for a single contract and bill covering all their telecommunications services.