Traditional telcos ahead in multimedia race

The majority of UK consumers and small businesses want to continue to get their telephony services from fixed line operators, rather than mobile providers or ISPs.

In a future of combined data , voice and video, fixed line telcos will continue to dominate despite increased competition from other types of providers, according to a survey from NOP.

The survey of 676 UK households will make worrying reading for mobile operators and broadband suppliers hoping to capitalise on the huge predicted market for converged voice, video and data services in the home. While the survey shows that a majority of customers would like their multimedia services in one package, the public poll gives an overwhelming vote of confidence to fixed line operators with 52 percent of respondents saying they prefer traditional telecoms. Only 13 percent of users said they would prefer to use broadband suppliers for all their communications needs while just 7 percent cited ISPs.

The survey was commissioned by Martin Dawes Systems, which supplies software and services for billings and subscriber management to vendors such as O2, Vodafone and BT Retail.

Tom Hodgson, sales director of Martin Dawes Systems, said: "This is great news for BT who are rumoured to be releasing their TV over broadband services in 2006. Now that broadband is widely available, the digital TV market is a particularly attractive proposition for the telcos."

Other key findings from the survey included a strong consumer demand for a single supplier of mobile and fixed line phone services, just 37 percent expressed a preference to stick with separate suppliers for fixed and mobile phone calls. The main reason cited by 68 percent of those expressing a preference for a single supplier was the convenience of a single bill.