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O2 to enter television market with IPTV service
Monday 17 December 2007 09:53:19 by John Hunt

Just months after O2 entered the broadband realm under its own brand, it is looking to follow the footsteps of its sister company in the Czech Republic where they already offer TV over Broadband. The Guardian has details that O2 are looking to extend the current deals with Warner Bros., HBO, and Paramount to also provide content for the UK market. Trials are expected to start next year with a potential live service by the end of 2008.

Orange was expected to launch an IPTV service this year but the Telegraph reports it will be delaying the commercial launch until 2008 as the network is not yet developed to handle a full roll-out. Orange are currently trialling the service with 350 customers in London and Leeds, and only have two announced content partners- MGM and Disney-ABC International.

Whether O2 and Orange will be able to hold up next to the other large players such as Sky and Virgin is something we shall see in time. Initially they are expected to go head to head with BT Vision, who now have over 100,000 customers (reportedly below initial targets) and Tiscali, who bought HomeChoice in August 2006 and have since seen subscribers fall from 45,000 to 36,000. With this in mind, the mobile operators could be in for turbulent times offering a TV service over Broadband where most users have a high expectancy of what content a television service should offer and low tolerance of faults.

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
With a large capital investment in Be's network making an operating loss then anything to bring in extra revenue makes sense, as long as it's profitable.
Posted by Jamiepw over 9 years ago
With all of the recent talk of capping and restrictions, its a wonder that they are bringing out this type of service?

I wonder how the format will be delivered, either 'live-Streaming' or on a 'pre-downloaded' basis, either way a standard 45min program is going to be a fair bit of MB, i would say around 200-300MB for a decent sized picture.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
All things being equal sky should end up dominating this part of the market... Virgin have no hope in hell, they cant even let you run flat out during the daytime as it is let alone grab loads of tv content over broadband... BT Vision is a waste of money (Its basically just freeview with a silly BT charge IMO).
The only chance O2 have is if they can sign deals for popular content people will want illegal or not at this time people love downloading US TV shows well in advance like lost and prison break, before it hits uk TV screens, if O2 can do that they have a chance.
Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
"With all of the recent talk of capping and restrictions, its a wonder that they are bringing out this type of service?"

Jamiepw - there's never been any talk of capping or other restrictions at be/O2. Due to their LLU infrastructure, capacity is cheaper to provide and there is far less congestion.

Carpetburn - O2 have a great opportunity to dominate this market along with SKY because they can afford to offer a genuine unlimited and unshaped service.

After all - people want to view content on demand at peak times, not at 3am when it suits the traffic shaping providers.
Posted by AndrueC over 9 years ago
@Keith_thfc:It's true that BE/O2 has no capping but don't be fooled into thinking that LLU means unlimited or zero-cost bandwidth. They still have to compete with everyone else in the backhaul market so as demand increases they will start to hit problems.

At the moment non-LLU is capped by BT's IPStream. 21CN is helping to make that history at which point the playing field is levelled. Suddeny everyone is competing for backhaul on the same terms and that point I predict LLU will fail unless the backhaul market picks up.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"they can afford to offer a genuine unlimited and unshaped service." - not if they're insolvent they can't !
Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
Herdwick - can't really see O2 going insolvent in the near future.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
Be Un Ltd run the service, their total assets were somewhat close to their annual loss in 2006. Sure, O2 can bail them out if that's a good business decision. Hopefully they've got better but a £25m network to feed 35,000 customers is not cheap.
Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
Its not a £25m to feed 35,000 customers though. You're forgetting the hundreds of thousands of current/potential O2 customers who can also use the same network.
Posted by ruskin0 over 9 years ago
It would suit o2 better if they concentrated on a Nationwide broadband, seems they want to run before they walk.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
[q]Its not a £25m to feed 35,000 customers though[/q] true - they have probably spent a lot more than £25m as its nearly a year since the last accounts.

It'll be interesting to see what percentage of eligible O2 customers can be induced to churn at this late stage.
Posted by scousetechie over 9 years ago
Aimed at no one in particular but can somebody give me a convincing argument as to why I should want to watch a TV programme on my PC?
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
AndrueC 21cn will lower wholesale costs for isps but dont be fooled into thinking they will be brought to LLU/cable level, LLU cost per gig transferred will remain lower than BTs wholesale pricing.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
herdwick not everyone runs their companies like BT, some companies will accept loss making divisions and even have loss making divisions deliberatly. BT execs may panick if they had a situation like BE as its profits profits profits for them but O2 may be happy as long as their core business is making money.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
LMFAO herdwick you really do try. If you think O2 are going to fall flat on their face you have another thought coming.... Hold on O2... Is that the same O2 what mobile network used to be a BT thing called Cellnet?? Nah cant be that... After all ya talking about them becoming "INSOLVENT" a chicken feed company would never get their mits on something BT related would they??? Especially being so poor they may become INSOLVENT.... ROFL
LLU, TV over broadband and other large transfering of data is the future, the sooner BT and others wake up, to that the better.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"At the moment non-LLU is capped by BT's IPStream. 21CN is helping to make that history at which point the playing field is levelled. Suddeny everyone is competing for backhaul on the same terms and that point I predict LLU will fail unless the backhaul market picks up."
LOL 21CN is going to fail more like... They cant even give it away on the free trials LOL
Posted by AndrueC over 9 years ago
What do you mean "they can't even give it away"? Do you even know what 21CN is? It isn't a service you opt-in to. It's a complete overhaul of BT's telephone network. Anyone getting their telephone service from BT will use 21CN. If 21CN 'fails' then 90% of UK lines will be dead. Either it works or it doesn't.
Posted by bgem83 over 9 years ago
herdwick, O2 announced turnover of £6.7Billion in 2006, figures not reales for last year but they're expected to be higher and thats only their UK market. They have 17.9 customers and rising, once again finishing top of the customer service index for the second year on the trot. They'll pull it off i think! financially!
Posted by bgem83 over 9 years ago
*released sorry
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