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(LEAD) LG Uplus, Google team up for new TV service
By Lee Minji
SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. and U.S. tech giant Google Inc. said Tuesday they plan to launch a new program incorporating the two companies' television services.

   The program, called "u+tv G," will combine the No. 3 mobile carrier's existing Internet Protocol (IPTV) service with the Android giant's "Google TV" service, the two companies said in a press conference.

   By setting up a u+tv G set-top box, users who subscribe to the service for a monthly fee of 9,900 won (US$9) will get access to 119 channels as well as Google's signature features including Chrome, YouTube and Google Play.

   The latest collaboration comes as the two companies step up efforts to use TV as a platform for their mobile and Web services.

   Google, which offers Google TV in 10 countries, has inked partnerships with global TV manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp. The tie-up with LG Uplus marks its first collaboration with a mobile carrier.

   LG Uplus, meanwhile, has been moving to launch smarter home services by mixing its various telecommunications services, such as fixed-line and mobile phone as well as broadband.

   "The new service will provide differentiated functions and services compared with existing IPTV services. The launch of u+tv G means that TVs are evolving into a smart wall," said LG Uplus executive Choi Joo-sik.

   LG officials said the company may develop TV applications, if necessary, in consultation with Google.

   They also stressed LG's role as a service-oriented firm, rather than a manufacturer, but added that the carrier is considering working with manufacturers.

   The set-top box for u+tv G was jointly developed with its affiliate, major television maker LG Electronics Inc.

A screen shot of LG Uplus Corp. and Google Inc.'s "u+tv G." (Photo courtesy of companies)