Electronics giant Sony and media behemoth AOL Time Warner have sealed a deal to boost broadband adoption and develop new forms of digital entertainment.
The pair said at the Comdex Expo in Las Vegas that they are to develop gateways to network consumer electronic devices and an internet browser to run on them.
AOL said the current problem is that consumers have difficulty 'connecting the dots' between their different devices and the services they wanted to use, and that this deal will create a unified platform to facilitate that interconnection.
Steve Case, chairman at AOL, said: "Nobody should have to be a systems integrator to make a convergence network work in their home.
"The focus here is on trying to align our technologies, investment strategies and platform strategies, particularly around broadband and home networking, because there's a recognition that we can do far more together than we could separately.
"This will be an alliance for the long haul that will encompass many different projects."
Analysts expressed interest in the announcement but were concerned about the lack of details presented.
Sony's strategy is to bring together its electronics, media and communications businesses in broadband delivered through TVs, computers, mobile phones and its PlayStation video games console.
The company had said earlier that it would work with Nokia to create a set of open standards for interoperability between third-generation (3G) mobile devices and boost demand for 3G services.
The two will work on developing standards for content downloads, user interfaces, digital rights management and messaging services.
Telecoms analysts welcomed the news but warned that standards collaborations often fall into confusion.
Operators backing the initiative include AT&T Wireless, Vodafone, NTT DoCoMo and mmO2, and handset manufacturers Siemens, Fujitsu and Samsung have also expressed their support.
Separately, the US National Cable and Telecommunications Association reported that 9.1 per cent of homes able to use cable modems have signed up for the service, bringing the total number of US cable modem users to 6.4 million.
In the UK, which lags behind several developed countries in broadband adoption, there are around 150,000 cable modem users.
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