In Brief: O2 eyes wireless, fixed-line convergence

May 12, 2006

British wireless operator O2 has indicated it is considering branching out into the U.K. fixed-line telephony sector.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Erskine told reporters on a conference call Thursday that European customers are increasingly receptive to the idea of one-stop sources for both types of phone service.

"Convergence is something that customers will want, and we'll be learning from our experiences in the Czech Republic and Germany and doing similarly in the rest of our businesses," Erskine said.

The Financial Times said an O2 spokesman said the company was not on any timetable to proceed, but had three viable options for starting landline service -- building its own network, acquiring another fixed-line company or paying for access to another provider's infrastructure.

O2 is owned by Spanish telecom major Telefonica and runs Telefonica's German and Czech operations where it offers customers wireless service along with broadband.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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