7/7/2009 3:16:00 PM
O2 challenges fixed line with new product for the SME market
O2 is set to release a new product for its SME customers that removes the need for a fixed line phone.
The ‘mobile-fixed convergence’ product will be launched in August and distributors and dealers will be briefed in sales meetings today (7 July) and tomorrow this week.
It is understood, the service will enable users to patch calls to a landline number straight through to a mobile, and users will not need a fixed line to use it.
It will cost £10 per month – cheaper than the cost of BT landline, which is currently £11.25 – and those making calls to the service will not be charged anymore than the cost of landline call.
The service, if successful, will significantly boost ARPU on existing customers with what is essentially an incremental sale. This would increase the quality of O2’s SME base.
Meanwhile, it is unclear currently which handsets the new service will work on and sources said it is not compatible with many Symbian based handsets. However, it will work on Windows-based mobiles and the iPhone.
Indirect sources indicated that the network had showed a clear interest in the area of fixed and mobile convergence at dealer conference in February, held in Prague.
The network was rumoured to be eyeing a similar move in 2006, to ride on the back of success with a mobile/fixed solution at O2 Germany with a service called Genion.
One distributor said: ‘It seems quite a change from the norm and will be a great incremental sale for us in the mobile channel.’
One O2 direct dealer said: ‘It is sewing the seeds of change in the industry – this hasn’t happened for 25 years.’
O2 would not comment on the new service.