Portugal Telecom dumps TMN mobile brand in multi-service focus

Portugal Telecom will offer all of its residential services including mobile under the MEO brand in future in order to exploit the operator's existing multi-play capabilities, and has dropped its previous mobile brand, TMN.

MEO already has a strong standing in the area of "quadruple-play"--meaning bundles of fixed TV, broadband and voice services combined with mobile voice and data offerings--through the M40 plan, which is Portugal's first quad-play service with 1.5 million subscribers, according to PT.

"In carrying through this transformation, PT takes into consideration the consumption trends of its customers, as well as its strategy for the consumer area, including the residential and personal segments, which consists of the investment in fixed-mobile convergence and in convergence of services," the company said in a statement.

PT added that the MEO brand has a 47.2 per cent share of the triple-play market and now becomes the market leader in mobility with a share of 46.3 per cent.

Multi-play has traditionally been very strong in France and Spain, where all mobile operators have some sort of bundled or discounted multi-play offering and some have well-developed quad-play plans, such as Movistar Fusion in Spain, Orange Open in France and SFR Multi-Packs.

In the past 12 months, increasingly more operators have embraced the multi-play trend, most notably Vodafone, which is buying or leasing fixed assets across Europe, and Belgacom. Cable and telecoms operators that already offer triple-play services are also launching MVNOs in order to be able to offer mobile services.

The ultimate aim of quad-play plans is to lock in more customers by tying them into more services, making it difficult for them to churn. In order to tempt customers to sign up in the first place, discounts are used as an acquisition tool in many cases. For example, operators promise that the cost of four separate services combined into one bundle is cheaper than buying all four separately.

In separate news, Reuters reports that the merger between Brazil's Oi and Portugal Telecom may be completed by the end of April.

For more:
- see this Portugal Telecom release
- see this Reuters article

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