Three players offer triple-play in France.The TV climate in France provides the perfect backdrop for fledgling IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) Also called "TV over IP," IPTV delivers scheduled TV programs and video-on-demand (VOD) via the IP protocol and digital streaming techniques used to watch video on the Internet. services, because neither cable nor satellite are very large factors in the country's TV landscape.
Due to the cable networks' limited reach and the fact that most cities don't allow receiving satellite dishes to be installed, more than two-thirds of French households have access to only six or so terrestrial TV channels. This leaves a large opening for multi-channel IPTV services, and companies have taken note. The top three IPTV operators are France Telecom, FREE and Neuf Telecom.
FREE bundles broadband, unlimited VoIP and IPTV into one low-priced package. Neuf has an unbundled package, which allows users to add VoIP or IPTV onto broadband services. France Telecom offers its MaLigne-TV IPTV service as a stand-alone deal. All three offer content from satellite providers TPS (1) (Transactions Per Second) The number of transactions processed within one second. TPS is a better rating for the performance of hardware and software than the common MHz and GHz rating of the computer. and CanalSat.
Establishing itself as the most cost-effective voice, data and video broadband service provider An ISP, telephone company, cable company or other carrier that offers high-speed communications to homes and businesses, typically for Internet access. Cable modems, DSL and T1 lines are the common technologies. See broadband, cable modem, DSL and T1. in France has helped FREE--a subsidiary of Iliad Group, a dial-up and broadband ISP (1) See in-system programmable.
(2) (Internet Service Provider) An organization that provides access to the Internet. Connection to the user is provided via dial-up, ISDN, cable, DSL and T1/T3 lines. in France--become the second most popular DSL DSL
in full Digital Subscriber Line
Broadband digital communications connection that operates over standard copper telephone wires. It requires a DSL modem, which splits transmissions into two frequency bands: the lower frequencies for voice (ordinary (i.e. telephone technology) Triple-Play service provider in France (after France Telecom), primarily by word of mouth.
Though company officials would not return calls, VideoAge learned that, in the first quarter of 2005, FREE added 150,000 general subscribers, bringing it to a total of 1.2 million, or 17 percent of the French broadband market. The company had expected to break even by the middle of this year and to have 1.4 million subscribers by the end of 2005. The company currently has about 450,000 IPTV-capable subscribers, with about 96,000 paying for premium TV services (its biggest competitor, France Telecom, boasts 130,000 subscribers to its premium TV channels).
Reportedly, FREE was the first company in France to enter the Digital Subscriber Line See DSL.
(communications, protocol) Digital Subscriber Line - (DSL, or Digital Subscriber Loop, xDSL - see below) A family of digital telecommunications protocols designed to allow high speed data communication over the existing copper telephone lines between end-users and 2+ (advanced DSL technology) market. It is also the only operator to offer bouquets from the AB Groupe of French satellite channels.
FREE launched as an ISP in 1999, offering users free dial-up Internet service (which gave the company its name). In 2002, it became a broadband Internet See broadband. service provider.
In July 2003, FREE introduced its Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, providing voice communications throughout France. In November 2003, FREE added an IPTV service, and customers can now receive all three offerings (IPTV, broadband Internet and VoIP) for the original 29.99 euro price. The initial offering included 30 basic TV channels, along with another 24 premium channels. Today, the same basic fee from FREE covers the monthly charge, modern and set-top box The cable TV box that sits on "top" of the TV "set," although it is often located several feet away in an equipment rack. The set-top box descrambles the premium channels and provides a tuner for the higher cable numbers that very old TVs did not support. (called the Freebox) rental and a basic offering of 92 TV channels (at a substantially lower price than its competitors'). In addition, viewers can opt for several a-la-carte channels, including BBC World
BBC World is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel. It has the biggest audience of any BBC channel. , MTV MTV
in full Music Television
U.S. cable television network, established in 1980 to present videos of musicians and singers performing new rock music. MTV won a wide following among rock-music fans worldwide and greatly affected the popular-music business. and AB bouquets. FREE now reaches Paris, Aix-en-Province, Besancon, Bordeaux, Caen, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Lyons, Marseilles Marseilles (märsā`), Fr. Marseille, city (1990 pop. 807,726), capital of Bouches-du-Rhône dept., SE France, on the Gulf of Lions, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. , Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes, Nice, Rennes, Rouen, Strasbourg and Toulouse.
Package Channels Price/Month FREE Basic 92 included Optional 28 .25 [euro] - 4.99 [euro] Packs 28 nine packs of 2 to 10 channels from 1.95 [euro] to 14.99 [euro] CanalSat (as part of FREE package) Thematic 59 18.99 [euro] Family 64 20.00 [euro] Cinema 68 20.00 [euro] Spectacle 73 20.00 [euro] Total residential ARPU ([euro]/year) Telecom Services Video Services Mar 04 806 102 908 Jun 04 802 109 911 Sep 04 805 98 903 Dec 04 829 96 925 Mar 05 828 82 910 Note: Table made from bar graph.