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Bouygues enters French consumer fixed-line market

28 сентября 2007

French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom will take over a ready-made DSL network as of June next year, thanks to an unusual wholesale deal with Neuf Cegetel. France's second largest fixed operator, will cede full control to Bouygues of DSL network elements in 626 exchanges in France. Neither company revealed financial details of the deal.

In the meantime Neuf Cegetel will provide Bouygues with wholesale DSL capacity from 1,000 exchanges, which reach 60% of the French population. Once Bouygues takes over the management of its own DSL infrastructure, Neuf Cegetel will continue providing it with wholesale DSL services via the remaining 374 exchanges not included in the DSL equipment hand over.

Neuf Cegetel, which has grown out of the acquisition of a number of ISPs, including companies with DSL infrastructure such as Deutsche Telekom's Club Internet, declined to comment on whether it is ceding control of surplus DSL infrastructure it gained through those acquisitions. The company, however, said it will continue to control its own network infrastructure in those exchanges where Bouygues will take control of equipment.

The move will allow Bouygues to pursue a strategy of offering both fixed and mobile services to consumer and enterprise customers.

In June Bouygues announced the launch of a managed mobile IP Centrex FMC offer with fixed enterprise operator Completel. The service, called Business Synchro, is aimed at companies with between 20 and 500 employees and offers unlimited calls to all fixed national phones and to all enterprise mobile phones.

Rival operators Orange, Neuf Cegetel and SFR are increasingly focusing on selling both fixed and mobile services.

Orange, for example, has approximately 300,000 subscribers for its Unik WiFi/GSM converged handset and service, and Neuf Cegetel has "tens of thousands" of customers for its equivalent offer, Twin, many of which are enterprise users, according to the company.

Indeed Neuf Cegetel's CEO, Jacques Veyrat, believes an evolution in the French broadband market towards FMC and quadruple play will drive consolidation.

Источник: Total Telecom

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