Orange Postpones IPTV Roll-out, Hit By BT Vision Competition

Tom Alexander, Orange UK's Chief Executive Office, has told reporters that the company will rethink its strategy behind the introduction of its IPTV service in United Kingdom as the France Telecom owned company said it would scale back its fixed-line broadband roll-out.

The current economic climate as well as fierce competion in the fixed-line broadband may have been too much for Orange.

Alexander also said that the company's IPTV offer is too similar to BT Vision which has reached 214,000 customers by the first quarter of 2008, still a very long way from BT's target of two million BT Vision customers by 2011.

Orange's IPTV service has already been successfully rolled out in a number of countries including France (where it has more than 1.6m subscribers) and Mauritius.

Instead, according to Reuters, the company will focus on delivering better quality of service amidst complaints and criticisms about poor speed and customer service.

This will start with Orange investing more money in building its own backend network rather than leasing it from BT, hence saving money and having more control over its operations.

By the end of June 2008, Orange had seen its customer numbers decline to 1.06 million from 1.14 million and is currently ranked sixth in the UK.

The company which is amongst the top three carriers in the UK has 110 million mobile phone users worldwide and 12 million broadband customers.