A consortium of telecoms vendors and operators announced the founding of the Open IPTV Forum on Monday, an industry body that will work to define an interoperable end to end specification for the delivery of IPTV services.

AT&T, Ericsson, France Telecom, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung Siemens, Sony, and Telecom Italia comprise the founding members of the group. The forum will be open to other companies at a later date.

Although standardisation bodies are already addressing specific elements of IPTV, the Open IPTV Forum intends to aggregate today’s diverse standards into a complete delivery solution, with the aim of accelerating the standardisation procedure.

The forum believes that more possibilities exist for the integration of content and communication services offered across mobile handsets and home devices.

“By ensuring the interoperability between consumer equipment and services compliant to the Open IPTV Forum’s specification, the end users can easily access their choice of contents and services among multiple service providers,” the Forum said in a statement.

The group will use open standards technologies and will also address key technology elements such as content protection and necessary interfaces that allow IPTV to be delivered over both managed network environments and the public internet.

The forum plans to establish requirements and architecture specifications as well as protocol specifications later in 2007.

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