France Telecom banks on quad-play strategy

The French telecoms market is about to undergo a radical shift with the entry of a fourth operator and LTE services appearing in 2012. To take best advantage of this upheaval, France Telecom (FT) has announced that quad-play services--all-inclusive bundles of broadband, TV, and fixed and mobile calls--will become a key strategy for the company, and that half of its customer base will have such plans by 2015.

Speaking to Reuters, Delphine Ernotte, the  head of FT's domestic business, said that the company had been surprised at the rapid level of uptake of quad-play by French consumers. She confirmed that, following the launch of quad-play seven months ago, the new service had attracted 500,000 subscribers.

"Quad-play is a major trend in our market, and we've been surprised by the rapid success of these offers," said Ernotte, adding that this bundling of services would be central to FT's strategy to remain the leader in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The exec predicted that the entry of the fourth operator, Free Mobile owned by Iliad, will keep competition high as the incumbents react to the arrival of the new service provider. Free Mobile is expected to break into the market with aggressive pricing offers much below existing mobile tariffs.

Given that France has been the European pioneer of quad-play services, with Bouygues Telecom being first to launch nearly two years ago, FT said that it was considering the option of launching similar multi-play services in other counties, including in the UK, Poland and Spain.

For more:
- see this Reuters article 

Related Articles:
Rumour mill: Vodafone to launch quad-play service
Orange France goes quad-play to catch up
France Telecom's quad-play offers come under regulatory fire
Free Mobile promises 50% cut to French consumers' telecom costs