Bouygues Telecom has just introduced its 4G Box, which is supposed to provide better flow to the deprived areas in the ADSL line, via a set-top box dedicated provided by Huawei. The offer costs 32,99 euros per month with rental of the equipment, but beware of the limitations, especially on the video bitrate.
After three months of experimentation, the 4G Box de Bouygues Telecom is a commercial reality, from Monday 23 January. At Neuville-de-Poitou, the operator has presented its offer of access to a fixed Internet from the 4G network, which is reserved for sparsely populated areas with mobile coverage is sufficient.
The goal for Bouygues Telecom : provide better speeds where DSL over copper is no longer sufficient. “[Copper] is a technology that is relatively frozen. In our interconnected world, it is no longer enough in some territories, ” says Olivier Roussat, chairman and CEO.
Orange could also announce a fixed offering based on the same technology, also after a testing and marketing in some countries, such as Belgium.
32,99 euros per month with rental of the box
The offer is charged at 29,99 euros per month, without ” Fair use “, that is to say, without a limit on the data that you can consume. This without counting the three additional euros for the rental of the box. At launch, seven million homes will be eligible, promises the operator. This number will be expanded to ten million in march. An increase in coverage is also planned for 2018.
This is an offer single play, with a simple Internet connection, neither telephone nor television. It will be 19 euros of expenses and provision, and a further 19 euros cancellation fee. To test whether the coverage of 4G is sufficient, the operator is offering a “free trial” : if you cancel within 30 days, the fees are refunded to you.
A video bitrate of potentially limited to 2 Mb/s
The limitations of the service are intended to be minimal, with the possibility of exchanging peer-to-peer and the streaming. The latency would be close to that of a wired connection, and promises even Olivier Roussat, the boss Bouygues Telecom.
YouTube is a service promoted in the advertising of the Internet offer, but there is a catch. The video bitrate is officially limited to 2 Mb/s, while YouTube recommends that you compress the videos at 720p with a bitrate of 5 Mb/s and 1080p video at a bitrate of 8 Mb/s.
” It has confined this to avoid to saturate the network and provide a high quality of service to consumers. [...] We took this to be secure. To 2 Mb/s, you are perfectly able to see a video today, ” replied the operator, during a session of questions and answers. It still doesn’t seem sure that the limit will be applied by default. As a reminder, there was no question at the launch of the experiment in October 2016. Obviously three months of testing have not been sufficient to define a specific policy on the topic, damage.
For the record, Netflix is estimated that the average video bitrate for the clients Free from its service is 2.16 Mb/s, which is the worst european level, when Bouygues Telecom appears to 3.75 Mb/s 2 Mb/s thus seems to be a lower limit. We contacted the Arcep to determine whether this discrimination of the video content is compatible with Net neutrality, which allows for reasonable traffic management.
We have also asked for clarification at Bouygues Telecom on this measure, on the method used to differentiate the traffic and on the compatibility with neutrality.
A box Huawei, for a theoretical speed of 115 Mb/s
The box is a box Huawei of 11 cm height, 7 cm in width and depth, for a weight of 250 grams. Side connectivity, it offers Wi-Fi 802.11 n (up to 32 simultaneous connections), an Ethernet port (speed not specified) and speeds 4G theoretical of 115 Mb/s down and 38 Mb/s amount, coupled with the offer of the operator. Insist well on the fact that these are theoretical speeds, which strongly depend on the occupancy of the network.
For reference, Bouygues Telecom has provided councils with a poor ADSL in Vienna and claims to obtain flow rates between 30 Mb/s and 40 Mb/s.
For the result, the operator does not offer triple play without the additional spectrum provided by the Arcep. The regulator, the telecom intends to allocate a portion of the 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz LTE fixed, even if the idea is only at the stage of public consultation.
More specifically, the company claims to have the announcement of development very ambitious to advertise on fiber to announce in the next few weeks, so that the operator does not deploy its fiber network, to public own today (see our analysis).