Etisalat and LG enter alliance, with Etisalat eLife services to feature on LG Smart TVs

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
LG Electronics logo

ABU DHABI — Etisalat and LG Electronics, top leaders in their respective industries, today entered a unique partnership that will see Etisalat’s broadband services and content delivered through LG’s new range of Smart TVs. The first completed effort of the alliance is the launch of Etisalat’s “OnDemand”, the region’s first managed IPTV Video On-Demand Service without Set-Top-Box and “OnWeb”, the new web-based video service that will be available to Etisalat’s fiber-connected residential customers on all of LG’s Smart TVs.

The agreement was signed at a press conference held in Dubai, revealed a close collaboration between the two corporations that will bring unprecedented range of benefits to their shared customer base. LG has developed broadband-connected TVs that are designed to deliver Internet-based content, mostly video, from popular or social websites, in addition to content from broadcast TV providers. The connected feature in LG’s Smart TV is supported by a technology that is integrated Set-Top-Box to the TV sets. Well on its way to fiber-connect the entire UAE in 2012, Etisalat recently completed the fiber deployment in Abu Dhabi, making it the world’s first Capital city in the world to be fiber-connected. Owing to super high speeds provided on the fiber-connections, customers will be able to enjoy exceptional quality with Etisalat’s new OnWeb video services.

eLife, Etisalat’s flagship range of fiber-based services, will have “OnWeb” service directly available through LG Smart TVs that customers purchase in UAE. OnWeb appears as a remote control-accessible menu item on the homepage of all LG Smart TVs. As compared to the traditional consumption of content on TV, customers will be thrilled with the experience and ease of finding and watching unique web-based video services on their TV.

The Smart TVs are enabled with UGC (User Generated Contents), SNS (Social Networking Service), Photo Sharing Service, Weather forecasts and other useful applications from LG or Etisalat. Customers subscribed to Etisalat’s eLife services can also access its new ‘Video on Demand’ service that is available on request. In addition to the free-of-charge OnWeb service package, customers will enjoy the option of purchasing exclusive content that will be offered on demand.

Commenting on the partnership and launch of eLife’s OnWeb service, Matthew Willsher, Chief Marketing Officer at Etisalat said: “Etisalat continuously strives to leverage technology in order to provide a distinctive experience to its customers. We are very excited to be teaming up with LG to provide our customers with advanced services via a Smart TV. We believe that this partnership and OnWeb service will create a new channel for providing our broadband customers with video content and Apps.”

Willsher added, “OnWeb services will facilitate the opening of new business avenues for content producers and broadcasters by creating unique ways that their content is presented to customers. This service will also allow us to cater for our diverse range of customers and provide them the best of what they want to watch.”

Etisalat’s specialized “Digital Media Services” unit is committed to supporting content producers and broadcasters in making their content available to Etisalat’s customers via the OnWeb service offering on the LG Smart TVs. Willsher added, “We have actively invested in efficient back-end systems to support the OnWeb offering and provide customers who use LG Smart TV’s with a wide variety of content from our partners.”

Commenting on the partnership with Etisalat, Mr. K.W. Kim, President of LG Electronics Middle East and Africa Region said: “This strategic partnership between LG Electronics and Etisalat highlights the importance of cooperation in bringing technology and content together to provide users with a superior experience, while reducing the complexity and associated cost. By combining our technology with Etisalat’s eLife OnWeb & eLife OnDemand service offering, we now open up a whole new world of superior entertainment for consumers, as we redefine the very notion of TV entertainment.”

LG’s Smart TV function provides customers with simple control of their home entertainment experience. The unique platform provides access to thousands of movies, customizable apps, videos and the ability to browse the Web through an easy navigating user interface and mouse-like point and click remote system, giving the user an experience that is easy, fun and unlimited premium content.

“A simple dashboard is the gateway to the LG Smart TV experience. With just four main sections – Live TV, Premium Content, TV Apps and Launch Bar – viewers are never more than a few clicks away from a vast variety of content” added Mr. Kim

The LG is targeting and developing more than 550 applications for LG App store until the first half year of 2011. The platform includes a Web browser so users no longer need to turn on their laptop to access the internet. LG’s Smart Share function allows users to wirelessly stream content from their PCs and other compatible devices for viewing on their television screen. Smart Share also includes Media Link, which provides additional information, such as cover art or liner notes, for content being streamed.