Feeds

O2: risks are for losers

Outlines cagey approach, snubs WiMAX

Website security in corporate America

Supersexy mobile operator O2 revealed its glamourous secret to growing a dynamic converged communications operation: proceed with caution.

O2 UK execs have watched with glee as Orange and TalkTalk's "free" broadband offerings have been widely reported as backfiring. Since it bought small ISP Be in June, O2 says it has been quietly working on local loop unbundling to ensure it works when it finally launches bundled mobile and broadband in the middle of next year. It announced that Be had unbundled 300 exchanges, covering under a quarter of the population.

The plan was detailed at O2's annual strategy knees-up in London following results on Tuesday which must have had rivals at Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone sobbing into their cornflakes. The roll-out should be as free of cock-ups as possible, O2 says, and shoot for straight-up value rather than tricksy "free" marketing.

O2 UK CEO Matthew Key said: "Customers are rebelling against free broadband. They associate free with substandard."

Vodafone will be targeting the same perceived customer service weak spot in existing bundles after its recent about-face on broadband by announcing a bundle to launch in the new year. It had previously pontificated about its plans to be a "pure-play" mobile outfit.

O2's calculated entry into the broadband market will be mirrored in its apporach to new technologies. Outside the Czech Republic, O2 has only dipped its toe into IPTV. Contrast that with BT, which is set to dive right into the market with BT Vision anytime now.

Similarly in mobile TV, while Virgin has already launched the Lobster phone to a muted reception, O2 yesterday refused to be drawn on when it would enter the fray. The firm is conducting trials across its territories concentrating on building interactivity into the experience by combining DVB-H TV with 3G services.

HSDPA has the beating of WiMAX, according to O2 CTO Dave Williams. When it begins punting converged mobile/broadband at consumers and businesses, O2 will offer shrunken 2G and 3G base stations as wireless routers rather than getting involved in unlicensed spectrum.

O2 group CEO Peter Erskine said: "We back winners."

That's despite apparently betting on web 2.0-style services to get paid-for content into user's pockets. The firm demonstrated its LookAtMe YouTube-style video service, which charges 35 pence per clip.

Accepting the hype bubble surrounding long-tail monetisation of frat boy-generated video will burst sooner-or-later, Erskine denied O2 could suffer in the fallout. He told The Register: "We're not exposed to that at all." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.