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SKorea's Daum, Microsoft To Work on IPTV

Daum Communications Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Celrun Co. said Tuesday they were setting up a joint venture to offer Internet protocol television services in South Korea.

The joint venture will be established in February, the three companies said in a press release.

Details, including their respective stakes in the new entity, had yet to be decided, they said. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Daum, South Korea's second-largest Web portal and search engine company, will develop the IPTV content, while Microsoft will offer the latest version of its Internet television software platform, Microsoft Mediaroom, the release said. Celrun, a Korean digital device maker, will provide set-top boxes and other digital devices, the release said.

"Microsoft will also use its global network to bring the services overseas," Yoo Jae-sung, general manager at Microsoft Korea Inc., said at a press conference.

Asia's technology companies, looking for a new source of revenue, are spending large amounts of cash developing IPTV services, offering real-time television programs and interactive services such as e-commerce over the Internet.

The joint venture plans to launch a pre-IPTV service, which excludes real-time broadcasting, in July with a view to offering full-blown Internet TV services in December, the three companies said in the statement.

Once the business takes off, they can share content with some 20 overseas network operators, including Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and AT&T Inc., which use the same Microsoft Mediaroom platform, it said.

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