The long-rumoured alliance between Telecom and Sky Television has emerged in a trial to deliver digital TV, telephony and Internet services as a single package.
The aim of the alliance is to "bring it all together for consumers, offering them a true one-stop shop for entertainment, information and communications," according to Telecom data and voice general manager Mark Ratcliffe.
"We want to create real value for customers by offering them a package of services from the country’s leading telecommunications provider and its leading digital TV operator, priced competitively and delivered seamlessly," he says.
Telecom will be the "customer contact point" for the new package, taking orders and providing customer support for both its own and Sky's services and generating a single bill for all of them.
Telecom says the package will be trialled by selected households in around the country from next month.
Customers will be offered a range of packages that combine digital TV, landline, mobile and Internet services in different ways with different usage plans.
Ratcliffe describes the initiative as "a step toward the day when the actual technology delivering these services converges."
Telecom says the deal is not exclusive and that Sky and Telecom are both free to enter into a similar deal with other parties. A final decision on the its future will be made on the basis of trial results.
The move comes in the wake of Telecom's purchase of a stake in INL which in turn is a shareholder in Sky. Both INL and Sky are controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.