All Sections

BT confirms next steps for TV and broadband: 4G router, multi-room TV and budget box

BT TV will be boosted by multi-room and entry-level boxes while BT Broadband users will see a Home Hub combining 4G with WiFi.

The telecoms giant twitched the curtain hiding its future plans as it revealed healthy broadband and TV growth in its latest results.

The BT annual results presentation also confirmed plans to make 330Mbps FoD (fibre-on-demand) available across the entire FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) footprint.

BT confirms next steps for TV and broadband: 4G router, multi-room TV and budget box
BT’s going inside-out to take on Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin

BT said: “Our competitive advantage is the ability to create single converged offerings combining fibre and 4G distinct from ‘quad play’ marketing of linked products.”

For BT TV, the targets are a multi-room service with an entry-level YouView box, presumably similar to the TalkTalk Essentials TV box.

Multi-room can be achieved using tablets, budget boxes and dongles like Google’s Chromecast, but an essential ingredient will be upgrading customers to superfast broadband which can handle multiple HD video streams.

BT TV will also support the BBC’s Connected Red Button technology – already a part of the HTML-powered Freeview HD – which enables direct connection to streaming video without launching iPlayer.

The two-year road map for BT’s broadband services proposes an ‘inside-out’ network, beginning with the recently-announced virtual network over EE’s 2G, 3G and 4G spectrum.

BT will combine this with its own 5.4m BT Wi-fi hotspots and short range 4G ‘small cells’ using the 2.6GHz radio spectrum it bought in 2013’s frequency auction.

The ‘inside out’ strategy will culminate in a fibre-ready Home Hub router combining 4G and Wi-Fi, so users can move seamlessly between mobile and broadband-based communications.

The rollout of FoD will follow FTTC across commercial and state-funded BDUK areas, making 330Mbps downloads available to businesses which can afford the connection costs.

FTTC will continue to be enhanced by trials of vectoring technologies, enabling it to reach top speeds above 100Mbps and improve long-range speeds in rural areas, while customers close to their fibre cabinet could see Gigabit speeds with G.fast.

However, the presentation avoids setting a timeline for the rollout of FoD and enhanced FTTC.

Image: BT

Comments