France Telecom: Livebox Brings Triple Play Home

2011-05-20     By Wu Yousong

 

 

France Telecom Group provides integrated communications services to hundreds of millions of residential and business customers on five continents. These services are provided through subsidiaries including Orange, Wanadoo, Equant, and TP. France Telecom is the second largest mobile operator and third largest provider of broadband internet services in Europe. At the end of 2010, its sales were 45.503 billion euros. At 31 December 2010, the group had a customer base of almost 210 million in 32 countries. This includes more than 150 million mobile users and 13.7 million broadband internet (ADSL) customers worldwide.

 

NExT Plan

In 2002, faced with customer attrition and revenue decline, France Telecom launched an “FT Ambition 2005” plan with operating objectives set out for different stages. The plan was successful and allowed France Telecom to grow its revenue and stem customer churn in 2005. In June 2005, France Telecom unveiled a New Experience in Telecommunications (NEXT) strategy, aimed at providing customers with a brand-new experience through a unified strategy involving unified service portal, unified customer service, and unified brand image. The launch of NExT marks the start of France Telecom’s efforts to transform itself into an integrated service provider. France Telecom also set up targets for user base, revenue growth, and finance. It planned to develop over 12 million broadband users, and eight million of them are Livebox users.

 

Livebox for Wireless Triple Play

As broadband networks continue to grow at a rapid pace, home users have expanded their list of demands from voice and Internet services to entertainment and lifestyle applications. Using a home gateway, operators can extend a variety of services and applications to households over telecom networks. Home network-based services have become a new source of revenue. To fulfill its goal of transforming into a full-service operator, France Telecom started to converge services and networks and rolled out Livebox wireless gateway for home users.

Livebox enables triple-play voice, data and streaming media services. Through the wireless gateway, services such as wired/wireless Internet access, IPTV, mobile communications, VoIP, videophone, online gaming, and home health care can be fast and easily provided.

The launch of Livebox represents France Telecom’s first step towards converged services. Along with the gateway, France Telecom rolled out a series of custom-made Livebox service packages. These are delivered through Livebox. Being the core of digital home, Livebox allows home users to enjoy feature-rich services and the benefits of converged services.

 

Milestones of Cooperation between France Telecom and ZTE

Livebox has grown well since its launch in June 2004. By the end of 2005, 1.78 million Livebox units were available on the market. In the first year, millions of families were using Livebox services and France Telecom’s equipment suppliers were having difficulty satisfying growing user needs. To introduce market competition, avoid supply risk, and further cut down CAPEX, France Telecom invited ZTE to customize Livebox in 2005. ZTE set up a special project team comprising experienced staff with extensive knowledge of multiplay access and home network architecture. To fulfill France Telecom’s strict requirements on technology and cost, the project team conducted in-depth analysis and worked out an optimal Livebox solution that helped France Telecom significantly save on their investment. In recognition of these efforts, France Telecom praised ZTE’s Livebox project team as highly responsive and trustworthy.

     April 2005: ZTE developed Livebox 1.0 and Livebox 1.2 prototypes.

     July 2007: France Telecom signed an MoU with ZTE on the development of Livebox 1.2.

     March 2008: France Telecom shortlisted ZTE as its cooperative partner.

     February 2009: France Telecom released Livebox 2.0 specifications.

     July 2009: France Telecom chose ZTE as its major supplier of Livebox 2.0.

     Since 2010: France Telecom has widely deployed Livebox 2.0 in Poland and France.

 

Looking Ahead

France Telecom extends its network edge into the user’s home through Livebox. The Livebox wireless gateway is also a platform for service innovation. Multiservice convergence and bundling will help France Telecom enhance user loyalty, increase ARPU, and address revenue decline caused by single service operation. With Livebox 3.0 on the agenda, France Telecom and ZTE will together create a bright future of digital home.

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