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UK Low Price TV, Broadband, Phone Bundles

TelecomTV reports that in the UK, Freeview, a system that allows viewers to watch free-to-air digital television channels forever at the one-time cost of about �50 for a set-top box, is increasingly popular. So much so that cable and satellite Pay-TV operators who earlier derided the system as a 'cheap substitute' for the real thing now acknowledge that Freeview is a genuine competitive threat and is causing more and more customers to churn away from the likes of BSkyB and NTL/Virgin.

Thus, NTL, the UK�s biggest cable operator has announced that it is also to offer 36 digital TV channels and 34 radio stations for �free�. However, unlike BSkyB, Carphone Warehouse and Orange, it is rejecting the notion of �free� broadband and will provide the telly connection gratis to those that sign-up for a �16.50 a month phone service package.

The company also announced its �quad play� offer of �Four for �40�. For this sum NTL customers will get TV, broadband, a fixed-line home phone service and a Virgin Mobile monthly account.

However, because the announcement has been rushed out amidst the frenzy of other �free� offers from other UK service providers, it is more hype than substance. For example, there�s little detail about the various services on offer and there�s no launch date other than a vaguely worded reference to �the end of September.�

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