Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Cegetel and neuf to Merge

Citing the need for critical mass in the highly competitive French market, neuf Telecom (formerly LDCOM) announced plans to merge with Cegetel's fixed line division. The combination would create France's second-largest fixed-line telecommunications operator with annual turnover of EUR 2.8 billion ($3.6 billion) this year.

As of the end of March, neuf telecom had 540,000 ADSL customers.
Cegetel currently has about 338,000 ADSL customers. The other major players in the competitive French broadband market include Iliad's Free with 1.21 million ADLS customers, incumbent France Telecom with 3.43 million customers, Tiscali, Club Internet, AOL and Tele2. In the competitive market, 8 Mbps services are currently offered for EUR 15 per month.

The new Neuf Cegetel aims to have more than 4 million residential customers, including 2 million ADSL lines, by 2007. The combined company will offer "quadruple" play services, including Internet access, VoIP, TV-over-DSL and Wi-Fi access, over an ADSL2+ network. The company also aims to capture 20% of the enterprise market by 2007 and to become the leading provider of wholesale services.

Both Cegetel and neuf operate their own national fiber networks, each exceeding 22,000 km.

  • In January 2005, neuf telecom passed a major milestone in delivering broadband services throughout France with the deployment of a network connecting 3,000 cities in 18 months.

  • In November 2004, neuf launched neuf TV, a digital-quality TV over DSL service offering over 70 channels. The company will shortly be launching ADSL2+ services.

  • Alcatel is a supplier of DSL equipment to neuf and Cegetel.

  • neuf telecom is using Cisco equipment for the extension and expansion of its network to support local loop unbundling and to facilitate triple-play over ADSL to residential customers. Cisco's 7600 Series routers, Catalyst 3000 Series switches and Cisco IOS network infrastructure software are used to provide the QoS-enabled multi-service network, supporting intelligent video distribution using dynamic multicast.

  • In September 2004, Redback Networks announced neuf's deployment of its next-generation SmartEdge platform. The shift to the SmartEdge platform represents an evolution from neuf's existing Redback SMS 10000SL broadband subscriber management systems.

See also