11 April 2008

France Telecom goes to the movies

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Orange
On Apr. 9, France Telecom’s Orange mobile, Internet, and TV unit unveiled a service [“Orange Cinéma Séries“], set to be introduced in the fourth quarter of this year, that will let subscribers get premium movies from Warner Brothers and HBO and swap them among their PCs, TVs, and all manner of portable devices, including mobile phones.

Consumers “want to access all of their content on all three of the screens with the same user experience, the same interface, and the same quality of service,” Didier Lombard, chairman and chief executive officer of France Telecom (FTE), told an audience of TV and film producers on Apr. 9 at MIPTV, an international audiovisual conference in Cannes. […]

In his Apr. 9 keynote speech—the first ever given by a telecom CEO to the assembled TV and media executives in Cannes—he asserted that without their content, his network risked becoming a “dumb pipe” that merely carries traffic for other people who skim off the profits. At the same time, he said, “I am certain that my network can give far greater value to your content.” The telecom infrastructure, he said, is better suited than alternatives such as cable or satellite to respond to the increasingly personalized and interactive expectations of customers.

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