Mobile phone carrier and ISP, Orange, a division of France Telecom, is planning to launch an IPTV service in the UK by the end of the year, in order to strengthen its UK broadband business.
Orange will offer multi-play packages of broadband, fixed-line and mobile telephony and pay-TV services, becoming the second nationwide provider of IPTV in the UK.
Analysts have expressed concern about the strategy, as Orange is struggling to compete in the UK broadband market with companies such as Carphone Warehouse Group Plc and British Sky Broadcasting Plc.
Although competitors have recently cut prices, Orange has failed to follow suit and currently ranks fifth in UK residential broadband subscribers with numbers falling between the first and second quarters.
Orange will also have to change the UK market’s perception of it as a mobile phone company, rather than an Internet provider. It plans to launch a TV advertising campaign in the third quarter.