Feeds

O2: risks are for losers

Outlines cagey approach, snubs WiMAX

Security for virtualized datacentres

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." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.