Bulldog Communications has pulled a big surprise out of its Christmas Hamper. They have released details on a 2Mbps ADSL product called PrimeTime 2000 that is targeted at Home users. Price wise it looks set to wipe the floor with both BT Wholesale, NTL and Telewest offerings, just £39.99 per month and £99 for activation (pricing courtesy of The Register). In addition a 1Mbps service (Primetime 1000) is available at £34.99 a month.
To mark the launch of this product range the activation fee is currently reduced to £49 for users who sign up before 31st January 2003. Additionally users who sign up in this period will get the full 1Mbps and 2Mbps until 31st March 2003.
Primetime 1000/2000 will initially be available to users in Central London, since it relies on the LLU exchanges that Bulldog have running in London. This means a potential market of 400,000 consumers initially. The Bulldog DSL website has details on joining the service or telephone 0845 452 0052.
Technically the service appears very attractive, outside of peak hours a speed of 2Mbps (or 1Mbps on the 1Mbps service) is provided on the downstream and in peak hours this will reduce to 512kbps. The upstream is a generous 400kbps, therefore exceeding any of the BT Wholesale ADSL products. The off peak times are all weekend, 6pm to 8am each weekday and all day on Bank Holidays.
The release of this product is a much needed boost to the future of LLU and shows what can be done by companies who target a specific need. Bulldog normally provide services to business users, so outside business hours their network is likely to have plenty of spare capacity, which explains the variable speed nature of the service.
The challenge now for Bulldog is to get plenty of users connected to the service, and use this customer base to add further exchanges to their LLU plans. At last we can start to see competition appearing in the LLU market and most shockingly it is in the consumer arena.
It will be interesting to see what response if any BT Wholesale have, this news increases the pressure for a broadening of their product portfolio and must raise questions of if Bulldog can do it for this price, why cant BT Wholesale!
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