SBC, Microsoft in $400 million deal

SBC Communications Inc., the second-largest local phone company in the United States, said Wednesday it signed a 10-year, $400 million agreement with Microsoft Corp. to provide next-generation television services using Microsoft’s TV Internet protocol television edition software platform.

SBC said it has been testing an IP-based television service built on the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition platform since June 2004. SBC and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft will begin field trials in mid-2005 and plan commercial availability of the IP-based television platform in late 2005.

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