Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Hot off the wires - Livebox flying off the shelves

Reuters Markets Monitor has a story on this morning (French only) citing an interview with Paul-Francois Fournier, France Telecom's head of European Broadband, stating that demand for the IP triple play home gateway branded "Livebox" has been greater than expected. Apparently, FT is moving 2,000 units a day overall. In the French market, Free's "Freebox" product is undeniably cheaper at EUR29.99 (for 5Mbps DSL, TV and VoIP for fully unbundled users), while Reuters correctly calculates the cost of a Livebox triple play at EUR76 per month (EUR34 for 2Mbps DSL, EUR16 for TV, EUR13 for PSTN line rental, EUR10 for "unlimited" VoIP, and EUR3 for the box rental). We are skeptical that this sort of price point can gain significant traction in the French market, where the risks of cannibalization are multiple and the agenda is churn mitigation. More interesting is the impact that this offering, priced more aggressively as an unbundled product, might have in the UK (where the Reuters story claims FT is selling 1,000 per week just through the website), Netherlands and Spain.

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