IPTVnews reports that France Telecom (Orange) is expanding its IPTV product portfolio, TV d’Orange, to include new channels and services including an Android application. The ISP’s enhanced offering will include a new ‘virtual’ channel dubbed ‘Services Pratiques’, offering on-demand information such as traffic reports, weather forecasts, entertainment news and a daily horoscope. In addition, Orange is rolling out a premium content movie channel ‘Orange cinema series’ to mobile devices, PCs and Android tablets, it said. The free of charge Android application will allow users to download movies via Wi-Fi for up to 30 days after the date of the original broadcast.
The Orange IPTV offer includes around 130 channels as part of the telco’s standard triple-play offer, costing EUR32 (USD43.7) per month. For an additional EUR14 a month, users can add a new top tier (Extra) which offers 35 new channels including eight entertainment channels, eleven music channels, seven children’s channels, four sports channels and six factual channels. Extra is offered with a EUR7 discount for the first three months as Orange looks to expand its video-on-demand (VoD) user base. The telco has reported heavy VoD usage in 2010, with over 100 million requested streams (on TV and PC) during the year – up 38% when compared with 2009 – including over 1.3 million requests in December alone. Catch-up TV usage was also up 162%, it said.
In a separate story, Orange France has announced it is deploying a rural fibre-optic network in Mareuil-sur-Lay to bring 100Mbps internet access to the town’s 715 homes by June. The pilot, one of seven in a national project to test fibre networks in rural areas, sees Orange working as the main contractor, with involvement from altnet SFR and the local municipal council. Work has already begun on the project which will see fibre-optic networks installed primarily in existing ducts.