Brazil: a quad-play giant is born

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 07-10-2011

Embratel, Claro and Net, the three Brazilian companies controlled by Mexican magnate Carlos Slim, have taken the first step towards creating what is destined to become the biggest quadruple-play operator in the Americas.
While the three companies (the country's second-largest telco, second-largest mobile phone operator and largest cableco) insist that they haven't formally merged, in practice this process was set in motion earlier this week.
Then, in a meeting with the local press, the CEOs of the three companies jointly announced that their cable TV, DTH, fixed line telephony, mobile telephony, residential broadband and wireless broadband networks would be integrated. From that integration, four new quadruple-play bundles will be launched on the 15th of October.
The three of them controlled by Slim's América Móvil, Embratel, Claro and Net have reached the obvious conclusion that, by merging, there are synergies that would allow them to reduce operating costs, consolidate their respective positions in the region's biggest market and – they claim – offer cheaper integrated telecoms services.
Of the four quad-play packages that were announced this week (branded as Combo Multi 1, 2, 3 and 4), the cheapest one will cost 400 Reais (US$218) a month. According to the companies, this equates to up to a 30% reduction compared with the added cost of each of the services included in the bundle.
All four combos include the following minimum services: two HDTV set-top boxes; 120 digital TV channels (16 of them in HD); access to the NOW video-on-demand (VOD) service containing over 3,000 titles, including some in HD; 10 Mbit/s residential broadband Internet access, including a Wi-Fi local area network; two fixed telephone lines with unlimited calls to any other landline in Brazil; two Claro mobile phone lines with unlimited calls to other Claro users within Brazil; free minutes for all other calls; discounts to buy smart phones and tablets; and free Wi-Fi access on a number of public hotspots.