ACCORDING TO a report in The Mail on Sunday, O2 will finally launch its own 'fourplay' offering in the UK to match rival operators such as Virgin Media and Orange.
It's hardly a big scoop, given that O2 actually bought a broadband Internet supplier, Be Internet, for £50 million back in June 2006. However, it ties in with remarks from CEO, Peter Erskine, at the time.
He predicted that the network should cover about 66 per cent of the UK's population by Q3-Q4 2007. So it should have sufficient coverage to offer a 'nationwide' service by now.
The O2 web site promises that subscribers should be able to download music and videos at 'superfast' speeds. O2 is very fond of that word – normally ascribed to its HSDPA/3G offering.
But in this case, Be Internet is one of the few UK ISPs offering consumers a
fast 24 Mbit/s connexion using ADSL2+ technology.
If owning Be takes care of the broadband part of the fourplay equation, what about fixed line telephony? Well, O2 is probably planning to emulate its Genion service offered to German subscribers.
This system detects when the subscriber is at home and charges call rates
which are the equivalent of fixed line voice calls. So subscribers won't need a
fixed line to get fixed line prices.
The third element in the fourplay scenario is obvious – O2 already has a well established 3G/Mobile network. So that only leaves TV. And with a 24 Mbit/s connexion, it could easily stream TV and video on demand to the home.
Those who want to register an interest in such an offering, should track down the O2 Broadband page on the O2 web site. µ
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