NTL & Virgin start quad-play wars

NTL:Telewest has announced the inevitable result of its canoodling with Virgin Mobile – the UK’s first quad-play deal for TV, internet, landline and m

NTL:Telewest has announced the inevitable result of its canoodling with Virgin Mobile – the UK’s first quad-play deal for TV, internet, landline and mobile services, which will be available from 1st September.

Orange, Sky and BT are all edging towards offering a combined deal for all four services, but this is the first time pricing and a launch date for a quad-play have been announced in the UK.

So, how big will your super-bill be? A quite reasonable £40 per month. Broken down, this works out as £30 for a 2MB broadband connection, Digital TV ‘starter package’ and its ‘talk weekends’ landline package, plus £10 per month for a Virgin monthly contract.

The broadband handily doesn’t have a usage limit, and the TV deal offers 40 channels with the option of adding Sky Sports and Movies channels for £27 extra per month.

Of course, not everyone wants to be tied to a deal for all four services, so NTL is planning to offer a pick and mix slant too. Later this year, you’ll be able to pick two services for £20 or three for £30, while all fixed line customers will get digital TV for free.  

While NTL throws its figures around, its foes are in their bunkers preparing their counter-attacks. Orange announced plans to add a TV service to its triple play offering back in May, BT is putting the finishing touches to its Vision telly service, and Sky has just added broadband to its satellite TV service. Come down to our air raid shelter, Stuffers, it’s going to get messy.