Forthnet eyes quad play expansion

Forthnet eyes quad play expansion

Listed telecom service provider Forthnet is preparing to expand access to its Nova satellite platform by penetrating the cell phone market. Having restructured its debts, the company is now looking ahead, considering offering a quad play experience, by adding mobile services to its fixed-line, internet and pay-TV Nova3Play package.

Sources have told Kathimerini English Edition that the completion of the agreement with creditor banks for the settlement of the debts of the country’s main alternative telecommunications provider signals Forthnet’s shift to new services, including mobile telephony.

“The completion of the refinancing of loan obligations on very favorable terms was particularly positive, preserving the strategic value of the company,” Forthnet chief executive Panos Papadopoulos stated. “With a completely different financial report, we may now focus on our business plans,” he added.

Along with the introduction this month of Nova On Demand, allowing Nova3Play subscribers to connect their TV decoder to their internet router and enjoy free unlimited access to Nova’s movie, series, documentary and children’s show library, Forthnet aims to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), in the same way CyTA Hellas has, using a cell phone network to sell mobile service packages.

In Forthnet’s case, services would include access to its Nova entertainment package, a move set to offer its client base a fresh boost and capture a key share in the mobile phone market – one of the few industries in Greece relatively unperturbed by the financial crisis.

Kathimerini understands Forthnet has been pushing to offer cell phone services for some time, but it so happens that two of its shareholders, Vodafone and Wind, are the main players in the cell phone market, along with Cosmote. It appears Forthnet feels the two are preventing its entry into that segment of the market, so it has resorted to the National Telecommunications and Post Committee (EETT). Kathimerini has learned the market watchdog will convene on Tuesday to examine Forthnet’s case, also summoning Wind and Vodafone, as well as Cosmote, to the hearing.

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