Monthly Archives: December 2007

T-mobile and 3 join Forces

Both 3 and T-mobile don’t have the best reputation in terms of their network coverage. In particular 3’s UK coverage is thought by the general public to be the worst of all the major networks. However, with massively debt it has been difficult for 3 to justifying investing multiple millions in building and installing new telephone masts. So it’s no surprise to hear that T-Mobile and 3 are pooling their mobile phone masts in an effort to bring high-speed wireless broadband services to more parts of the country.

Some believe that is actually the first stage of T-Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom, buying the 3 mobile phone network. It has been reported that 3 have debts of over £10 billion which makes it a pretty unattractive buy for anyone.

Combining the mobile phone networks of the UK’s 4th and 5th network makes commercial sense. It will help reduce costs while increasing the coverage for both networks. Both T-mobile and 3 have a 3g network but the coverage is limited (websites). 3’s is the largest 3g network in the UK but only covers about 90% of the population.

The deal does need to be checked by the UK regulator Ofcom. They will investigate whether the deal is anti competitive. Some legal experts say that, under EU rules, if the two companies pool their assets into a joint venture it will have to be examined by the Office of Fair Trading as a merger.

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Video Preview of the Forthcoming O2 Cocoon Mobile Phone

There is no doubt that this is one serious looking piece of kit. It was designed by the cool Swedish firm Syntes Studio, and the video below gives you some idea of the inspiration for the unusual shape. Some have called it an iPhone copy but I think they are wrong! The Cocoon is white like an ipod and it is fashionable but that is where the similarities end, apart for the 2 mega-pixel camera which will lets down both the iPhone and the Cocoon.

Spec of O2 Cocoon
– 2 megapixel autofocus camera and a second video calling camera,
– A QVGA 240X320 display,
– An MP3 player,
– An FM radio
– Expandable memory up to 2GB.
– Cool LED front screen
– Memory for over 500 music tracks

Sneak Peak of the O2 Christmas TV Ad

I was just looking around on youtube.com and found this preview of the 2007 Christmas advert for O2. My foreign languages are not too good but I think the commercial is from Slovakia. I assume that O2 are planning to use the ad in all countries, including the UK, because I’m sure it would be too expensive to make a different TV ad for each country but only time will tell.

O2 to Launch Internet TV in UK

After a successful trial in the Czech market, O2 are planning to launch an internet based TV service in 2008. The TV service will accessible via some 3g mobile phones but it will be predominately used by computer-based users. The Czech service offers over 50 channels with content from leading producers including: Disney, Sony, Warner Bros and HBO, the producer of The Sopranos.

Before launching in the UK, O2 decided to trial the TV service the Czech market. The trial was judged to be successful when it attracted over 70k customers. The Chief Executive of O2 Czech, Salvadore Anglada, said:

“The company is moving toward full service convergence, whereby customers can pay a flat-rate tariff to watch live ice hockey games, the most popular sport in the country, on whatever technology suits them best at the time, whether that is by a mobile phone, normal TV or over the internet.”

It has been expected that 02 would launch an internet based TV after they brought the high-speed broadband provider “Be” a couple of years ago. Be broadband is thought to be the fastest network in the UK, this capability makes it perfect for carrying computer based TV services.

No one is expecting the UK to be as easy at the Czech market to crack. Czech customers are hungry to source broadband, mobile and pay TV services from the one supplier, whereas this type of service hasn’t be welcomed by UK customers. Virgin Media’s quad-play has been disappointing, as has the take-up of BT Vision.

In addition, Orange is currently trial their version of internet TV with over 300,000 paying customers in London and Leeds. If successful, Orange plan to roll out the service nationally in the first half of 2008. The pay TV market is certain set to become a whole lot more competitive with Sky, Virgin, Tiscali, BT, and now Orange and O2 all battling for customers. Hopefully, this extra competition will bring down the prices for customers.