O2 have bought Be Unlimited
for around £50m. This puts into context the rumoured £600m
that AOL UK is asking for its’ access division. Buying customers seems to be a great deal more expensive than buying network assets. I think this is a sensible mode of entry for o2 into the broadband market.
With Orange joining the “free” broadband rush, C&W exiting the consumer market and focussing on wholesaling, the mighty Sky yet to enter and BT responding with its’ “Total Broadband” package, the British LLU market is white hot at the moment.
A quick look at the State of Unbundling show two key indicators for me: Tiscali & Homechoice are being outgunned and run the risk of being outmarketed perhaps it is time to sell up before its’ too late? You can see this especially when looking at the individual dates when the exchanges were unbundled; and TalkTalk have a mega-aggressive service date of 31st August for 1,018 exchanges.
I’m sure that I heard an interview with Iain Livingstone of BT Retail on Radio 4 this morning about the launch of "Total Broadband" with extra services bundled compared to TalkTalk. However, I can only find limited information on the net. BT's PR machine is rubbish - sometimes it is hard being the 600lb Gorilla.
I am extremely excited about Sky’s entry into the market, because I believe they’ll be bundling SkyTV and other content with the offering and will move the broadband on further.