Triple-play way to consumers’ hearts

Posted on April 21, 2006 
Filed Under Uncategorized

[From WSJ]
Iliad, a France Télécom competitor, introduced a new set-top box that adds high-definition television and unlimited calls over a Wi-Fi equipped mobile phone.

The new Free offering, which allows the same phone services to be routed wirelessly to a Wi-Fi-equipped mobile phone, is a step toward the much-anticipated convergence of fixed line and mobile phone services.

The company pioneered so-called “triple-play” services in France through its Freebox, which offers 24Mbps broadband access, unlimited domestic and international phone calls to 14 countries and 81 TV channels for a monthly subscription of 29.99 euros(US$36). Over 1.1 million French subscribers have already signed on.

It stops short of full “quadruple play,” because no mobile phone subscription is included in the package – users have to sign up separately with an operator of their choice – but nonetheless poses a challenge to France Telecom SA’s Orange and other mobile networks.

“We are coming into people’s living rooms and changing the way they consume telecom services,” says Michael Boukobza, Iliad’s 28-year-old chief executive.

Citing industry figures, Iliad said about 40 percent of mobile calls in France are made from the home. “That means Free will enable subscribers to save as much as 40 percent on their mobile bills,” Iliad said.

(from AP and WSJ)

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