Talk is cheap

Cheap talk

While in london I was impressed by the presence of broadband retailing on the high-street. Normally offered as part of a bundle with wireless, video, or a landline — local loop unbundling is happening fast in the UK and its increasingly a fully unbundled line. The latest and most interesting offer seems to be from carphone warehouse, branded Talk, Talk. The sales person walked me through the bundle — £11 per month line charge and then £9.99 for unlimited calls within the UK and 28 international countries (including Europe, US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada) — and broadband is "free" — 8Mbps on average, and they claim to have coverage over 70% of the UK. There isnt hard data on sign up's but sales person said they did 20,000 in the first days (it launched only a month ago), and they claim to be saving wired brits over £400 per year. With 2.6 existing wireless and wireline subs and 1700 retail outlets across UK and Europe they are pushing hard to get customers signed up and locked into these new plans (18 month commit). The aggressive subsidization and grab for customers has got to be based on the assumption that ancillary services can be added to the bundle — like video — and can over time be charged for as a premium service.

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