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NTL to launch digital telly service in September

Watch out BT, warns bullish cable company

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Cable company NTL is predicting massive growth when it starts bundling a new range of digital communication services in the UK in September. Its focus will be on selling packages of TV, Internet and interactive services, and telephone across the whole of the UK and through new European franchises. NTL executives hope this new strategy -- and the fact that its phone tariffs will apparently be cheaper than BT -- will make it a major force in the UK and European communications market. The Hampshire-based company predicts that NTL's digital cable offer will generate 250,000 subscribers by mid-2000. And part of that uptake will be driven by high-speed Internet access and interactive services such as online shopping and banking. CEO Barclay Knapp said: "NTL's strategy is simple. We will increase our subscriber base by selling integrated services of TV, telephone, interactive and Internet services. "That will attract media and consumer companies wanting 'carriage' or transaction services. In turn, they will provide business to our telecoms and satellite operations as we get them connected." The bundled services will be delivered using NTL's own cable connections and through a combination of telephone lines and digital terrestrial television outside its franchise areas. ®

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