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Why Triple-Play Bundles Lack True Innovation

Broadband Service Providers (BSPs) must do more to differentiate themselves in what is becoming an increasingly commoditized market, or risk becoming simple utilities, according to a report just released by Strategy Analytics.

"The French market has followed a rather predictable evolutionary path," says Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics Broadband Network Strategies Service. "As the market reaches commoditization, operators are faced with a critical decision -- provide true innovation through services, branding or overall customer experience in their offerings, or risk getting squeezed out of the market."

France's broadband market transformed itself from one of the most monopolistic into one of the most competitive in a period of just six years. As the government opened this market to non-incumbents, fierce competition ensued. France now supports a multitude of BSPs, however the top three control roughly 85 percent of the market.

While the French broadband market is indeed hyper-competitive, it is not unique. Throughout the world, broadband offerings and markets are becoming increasingly standardized. The French experience can, therefore, provide invaluable guidance and insight to other broadband markets.

The Strategy Analytics report examines the intricacies of the French market, explores the various Triple-Play packages on offer, and provides directional guidance for BSPs competing in commoditized environments.

"Today's situation in France is in many ways reminiscent of Japan in the late 1990s, where a liberalized regulatory environment and bloodbath pricing quickly commoditized DSL," says Piper. "We don't see how France can continue to support this many BSPs -- further consolidation in the market is inevitable."

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