Uncommon Wisdom

Jul 6 2010   2:37PM GMT

New France Telecom unveils plan to remake the business

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

France Telecom’s new CEO Stephane Richard has stepped up with four “conquests” he says will remake its business and (obviously) re-establish its road to continued profitability and shareholder return.

The details are a bit scarce and the goals perhaps a bit idealistic and obvious in our view, but we hear that the company is planning a combination of revamping its wireline broadband delivery mechanism to FTTH to support better video and competitive broadband, coupled with a clear strategy for monetizing content.

What’s not clear at this point is whether that monetizing will be focusing on usage charges, on linear RF video programming and broadcast channels, on content services, or what. That the target is explicitly inclusive of mobile broadband suggests to us that it’s all three.

We’re hearing a lot of talk from Europe that there will be changes in the telecom business model for 2011 and that the changes will be heavily focused on monetizing content. We’re also getting a notion that equipment vendors that see this shift are responding so far more with platitudes than with substance, which means that there may be some shifts in leadership and market share. Some of that has already surfaced in our survey of operators completed in early June, to be published in Netwatcher next month.

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