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O2 aims for one million broadband customers

04 октября 2007

O2 , the UK’s largest mobile phone company, has set itself a target of having 1m fixed-line broadband customers by 2010. O2 will launch its fixed-line broadband service on October 15, although it will only be available initially to half the population.

This is because O2 is offering broadband in areas where it can take control of BT landlines running from telephone exchanges to homes.
O2 has the capacity to do this in towns and cities where 50 per cent of the population lives, but it may extend its reach.
The 1m target confirms that O2 is not seeking to muscle into the top tier of broadband providers comprising BT, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse.
BT has 3.8m broadband customers, while British Sky Broadcasting, the fastest- growing broadband provider, is also likely to join the top tier.
O2 regards fixed-line broadband principally as a tool to shore up the loyalty of its mobile customers. The company has 17.8m mobile customers, making it the largest UK wireless operator, but it is engaged in a fierce battle with rivals Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile. Vodafone and Orange already sell fixed-line broadband.
The O2 broadband service is pitched at its mobile customers on monthly contracts, because they are the most valuable.
These customers can buy O2 broadband packages ranging from £7.50 to £15 a month, depending on the download speeds they want.
Those who use O2 pay-as- you-go mobiles, or who are not O2 customers, will pay an additional £10 a month for broadband.
O2 is seeking to entice people to buy its broadband by emphasising how it delivers superior download speeds, compared with many rivals, of up to 20 megabits per second.
Last year O2 , which is owned by Spain’s Telefónica, bought Be, a specialist broadband company, for £50m.
Be is one of a handful of broadband companies that use ADSL2+ technology, which means download speeds of up to 20 mbps are possible. However, exact speeds are largely determined by how close people live to BT telephone exchanges.
Matthew Key, chief executive of O2 UK, said the broadband service would be a “breath of fresh air by offering a technologically advanced service”.
Customers will not be able to have a traditional fixed line phone with O2 , though they could use their broadband to make Voice over Internet Protocol calls.

Источник: Financial Times

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