back to article EE TV brings French broadband price war to the UK

While Vodafone is no stranger to TV in its territories and last week added the Netherlands to other locations where it offers TV, such as Spain and Germany, the move by EE in the UK seems a far more serious one. It is an offer that bundles free TV with a broadband order, just like the four French Telcos – Orange, Free, SFR and …

  1. Fihart

    They just don't get it ?

    From a grumpy consumer's viewpoint, none of these telcos quite understand that some (many?) don't want;

    1) Bundled TV

    2) Bundled sport

    3) Thousands of "free" texts (how many can normal people send in one month ?)

    4) "Free" cinema tickets

    5) Subsidised (locked) phones.

    6) 24 month contracts

    4) Anything else bundled that obfuscates pricing while, presumably, raising the cost of provision.

    While I welcome a price war within this otherwise cosy cartel. let's have a war about prices, not add-ons.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: They just don't get it ?

      Your list is a bit too all encompassing and mixed loyalty bonuses (Orange Wednesdays) with service bundles, of which I suspect bundled sport is likely to be pretty popular. But in general I'd agree with you that most people are pretty meh about 3-play, though many will sign almost any contract to get a "free" new phone.

      Things get more interesting when they get free wifi roaming on the back of, which is appealing to VMNOs as it allows them to offload data from expensive rented 3G and LTE capacity to the internet.

    2. rhydian

      Re: They just don't get it ?

      If you don't like the big ISP/Telco offerings why not try the smaller ones.

      I moved from EE to Virgin Mobile. Same network coverage but cheaper per month

  2. Tom Wood

    "70 free channels"

    is a bit disingenuous, these channels are just the ordinary Freeview channels that everyone gets anyway.

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: "70 free channels"

      That said, I'm already an EE mobile and broadband customer, and I'm in the market for a DVR, so a 4-channel Freeview HD DVR for free has certainly got my attention.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: "70 free channels"

        I am sure that the PVR won't be 'free' for long. EE will have to recoup its costs somewhere won't they?

        Isn't Freeview in danger of being squeezed out by the 4th Gen networks? Don't ofcom want us to switch to Satellite/Cable thus giving them all that lovely terrestrial bandwith to flog off?

        May I humbly suggest that (unless you want footie) you get a FreeSat dish installed and a decent PVR. No more monthly charges and being beholden to a Telco for your gogglebox viewing.

    2. rhydian

      Re: "70 free channels"

      Not everyone gets all the Freeview channels. Outside of main transmitter sites the number of multiplexes transmitted drops from six down to three, so you end up with a very limited choice of channels.

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Seems very complicated

    Another grumpy old fart writes...

    At the moment I get Broadband from BT - basically the same people who manage the wires, the street cabinet and the exchange. It seems to work okay. Why add a middleman (EE) with no Broadband delivery experience?

    I get TV from Freesat - plug it in and point it at the sky and it works. Why faff around with something more complicated. If I want to record stuff, I can buy a recorder. I don't, so I won't.

    My TV already has a remote. Why would I want to faff around using a phone to control the TV?

    Why would I be watching a programme on my phone when there's a TV in the room?

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: Seems very complicated

      At the moment I get Broadband from BT - basically the same people who manage the wires, the street cabinet and the exchange. It seems to work okay. Why add a middleman (EE) with no Broadband delivery experience?

      Because it's cheaper.

      I get TV from Freesat - plug it in and point it at the sky and it works. Why faff around with something more complicated. If I want to record stuff, I can buy a recorder. I don't, so I won't.

      Freesat is arguably more complicated than Freeview, which works with the same aerial that's been on your house for decades.

      Just because you don't want a recorder doesn't mean nobody else wants one.

      My TV already has a remote. Why would I want to faff around using a phone to control the TV?

      That is a good question. Because many people already watch TV with a phone in their hand?

      Why would I be watching a programme on my phone when there's a TV in the room?

      Because their isn't a TV in a different room?

      Now you/your kids/your grandkids can watch TV from their bedroom / the garden / the toilet without needing to install another TV (along with aerial cabling etc) in those places.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Seems very complicated

        That is a good question. Because many people already watch TV with a phone in their hand?

        Now you/your kids/your grandkids can watch TV from their bedroom / the garden / the toilet without needing to install another TV (along with aerial cabling etc) in those places.

        I thought you were supposed to be listing the pros, not the cons.

      2. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

        Re: Seems very complicated

        ....more complicated than Freeview, which works with the same aerial that's been on your house for decades.

        ROTFL at that.

        1. Tom Wood

          Re: Seems very complicated

          Well, maybe not *your* house. But mine, certainly.

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Seems very complicated

      EE Have been delivering broadband for a couple of years now.

      And if the serivice you get from BT is indicative of "experience", I'll take the fresh-faced know nothing every day of the week (twice on Sundays)

    3. xj25vm

      Re: Seems very complicated

      "At the moment I get Broadband from BT - basically the same people who manage the wires, the street cabinet and the exchange. It seems to work okay. Why add a middleman (EE) with no Broadband delivery experience?"

      Actually, not really. Since 2006 BT has been split between BT Retail and Openreach (and a few other subsidiaries) - and they all operate as independent companies. They might all be owned by BT Group - but they are separate companies - not only departments. BT Retail is a customer of Openreach, just like EE or TalkTalk or any other broadband resellers. And no - that is not just in theory - when you are stuck with a sticky broadband problem and passed around all BT departments, and wait for days on end for the "test results" to be in - you find out soon enough that the days when BT was one entity that was your direct supplier, and managed the "wires" at the same time - are long gone.

  4. Frankee Llonnygog

    Great

    Do EE have some new source of watchable TV programmes?

  5. heyrick Silver badge

    Price war in France?

    Standard Orange internet+tel+mobile (unbundled) is €60/month for what I have. I guess when you have prices like that, it is easy to have a price war. Might be time to investigate Sosh (which is Orange's cheaper incarnation).

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Price war in France?

      It's a Faultline piece – factual accuracy is optional.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    FAIL

    Atrocious copy

    As you look around Europe, Orange or T-Mobile have been successful in most smaller markets with the exception of Italy, Spain and the UK.

    The UK and Italy, and to a lesser degree, Spain are considered large markets in Europe. Add France and Germany (the home markets of Orange and T-Mobile) and you've go the largest markets in the EU.

    The comparison with Sky is laughable: it's not about the number of households watching stuff they can get on DVB-T anyway but the number of them who sign up for added-value channels, which is Sky's main business.

    Using BT wholesale service is an easy (and cheap) way to offer service consolidation. Fifteen years ago Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom were cooperating significantly then came the UMTS auctions. EE is simply the result of one not being prepared to buy out the other. Given that in other European markets the number of providers has been allowed to drop to 3 (merger of E-Plus and O2 in Germany is going ahead), there's no reason why that wouldn't happen in the UK, though there would then have to be some reallocation of spectrum. Presumably nobody's made the right kind of offer yet. Orange UK was large enough to be profitable so I EE probably is as well, meaning there is no urgency to sell.

    Orange's DSL boxes are also woeful.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Atrocious copy

      "Orange's DSL boxes are also woeful."

      The Livebox (2, square one with cut off corner) is underpowered. I bought a spare one with the original firmware, it makes a reasonable DNLA streamer (so I can watch stuff on the tablet). It was intended to be a spare in case the rented Livebox had problems, but I'm too scared to connect it to the phone line as it will upgrade to the current firmware. You want woeful? Talk to me about a box that can no longer quite handle streaming 480P at high bitrate, or 720P at any bitrate (it used to). Talk to me about a box with a fancy web front end that isn't capable of correctly telling me what is connected. Orange tell me that resetting the configuration will cure this but I have not done this as I have several devices on a DHCP with fixed IP addresses, and guess what, that part of the settings doesn't work either.

      Thanks Orange, but I didn't sign up to be an unpaid beta tester. I really wish there was a "notify, don't install" option on firmware updates.

  7. Chad H.

    Seems like this article is missing the "sponsored content" warning at the top. It smells of PR churnalism.

  8. Anthony Hulse

    Vodafone España

    Just because it gets a mention here, if anyone ever has reason to order any services in Spain stay well away from Vodafone there. They took my broadband and phone line, gave it to another customer whilst still charging me, then outright lied to me repeatedly down the telephone when I raised a support case. "48 hours maximum" to resolve became 72 then 96 hours, then they just cancelled my support ticket and opened a new one in order to reset their clock when the problem still wasn't fixed. At which point I blew a fuse and told them to cancel the contract. Their response? They charged me a disconnect fee! For a line that wasn't by then even connected!

    Nice eh?

    (On the plus side this did coincide with Telefonica bringing FTTP to my town, so I now have 100Mbps download speeds.)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Vodafone España

      That might be a reason to avoid Vodafone in Spain if the rest had better customer service, but they're all about the same.

  9. Richard 51

    wtf this article is missing some editorial control the written English is appalling.

  10. Paul

    The market is still controlled by BT (Openreach)

    BT can afford to virtually give away their broadband service at a price no other ISP can sustain because the other bit of BT can keep jacking up line rent and the cost of accessing the local loop.

    BT broadband can thus "pay" the same fees as other ISPs for running broadband over a phone line, make no profit and still claim they are playing fair.

    The net result is that ISP margins are squeezed so much that their only way to actually make a profit is to sell all sorts of services on the top, whether VOD, music, DVR services etc.

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