Wireless broadband services now come with the option of digital television and a residential phone. This has reduced billing costs by an average of Â£200, resulting in millions of people adopting bundled packages of this type.
This article will look at the four main bundle providers and the considerations you have to make in choosing a package.
Wireless Broadband Packages Available
Four companies provide bundle packages for wireless broadband, digital TV and home phones. – BT (British Telecom), Virgin Media, Talk Talk and Sky.
All service providers in the broadband market have services and advantages that set them apart from the others. For example:
The speed of Virgin Medias cable broadband service is amazing and Virgin has a catch up TV service that is extensive.
Sky is famous for its satellite TV coverage and its exclusive coverage of sport.
Talk Talk has a wonderful broadband package with the most up to date digital TV platform.
BT provides a great value TV service and its fibre broadband covers areas in the UK that other providers can’t reach.
This is just a very brief look at the providers, but ou get the idea.
Broadband Speeds from Service Providers
As far as Virgin Media and British Telecom are concerned, both providers offer a broadband speed that goes to 100Mb, sometimes even higher. BT has launched its new broadband service, BT Infinity, which is available in many parts of UK. It is anticipated that by 2014 BT Infinity will reach customers in about 66% of the country, giving it wider coverage than any other provider. Virgin Media has consistently maintained top position in the broadband speed tests of regulator Ofcom, and received the customer satisfaction award in 2012. It remains one of the top choices for UK consumers.
Most phone services come with inclusive packages for weekends, nights, evenings, etc. While selecting a bundle service, one must keep in mind the time when the phone is usually used the most so a suitable package can therefore be selected wisely.
Monthly line rental has to be paid to ADSL service providers. Among these four providers, there is less than a pound between them on this expense. Watch out for pay up front rental deals. For example, Talk Talk can offer you a 40% saving on line rental if you pay for a year upfront.
Here is my bitesized overview of the TV services:
Virgin Medias TiVo is a service that enables viewers to record three programs at once. Virgin Media gives customers BBC iPlayerdirectly through the TV, and it has the greatest on-request offers.
Sky has introduced Europes first 3D channel, Sky 3D and it has almost 60 high definition (HD) channels. Its sports coverage is the best.
BT offers a service, â€˜YouView, for customers who have a British Telecom phone connection and a speed of 2MB (or above) for their wireless broadband. It is a service that combines digital TV, catch up TV and on-demand programmes, along with other interactive services.
The digital Television service of TalkTalk, â€˜TalkTalk Plus, has its roots in the You-View service. It gives the option of rewinding live TV shows, and viewers can also customise Talk-Talks Television services with â€œTV Boostsâ€.
Availability of Wireless Broadband bundles:
Before choosing a service provider for a wireless broadband bundle it is of upmost importance that the availability of your target service is checked. For example, if you want fibre broadband from Sky with their bundle, but fibre is not available, you may end up with LLU or standard ADSL. Dont commit until you know what is being offered.
Virgin Medias superfast wireless broadband and digital Television is also limited to its cable network area, which covers just half of U.K.
While considering coverage and availability, BT, Sky and Talk Talk have greater coverage area. BT has the largest coverage area across UK, that is 99%. However, much of this availability is of ADSL connections and not fibre.
Sky broadband is offered to around around 98% of the UK, but since the Sky network only actually covers 83% of the U.K, it will cost more when the customer is outside the Sky coverage area and services through another provider.
Talk Talk covers 86% of the country, but is planning to extend the coverage area to 93%. To get the Talk Talkdigital TV service, one needs to have a broadband speed of 3Mb/s. If additional channels and on-demand services are added, the speed must be 5Mb/s, minimum.
Bundling A good choice or not?
Usually people are worried about the costs of bundling TV, Phone and wired/wireless broadband. There is a perception that BT, Sky and Virgin Media do not have very pocket friendly rates. The reality that you can end up paying quite a lump to a single provider, but it will include a lot of services. The value for money is generally superb.
Those who have a much tighter budget could make do with Free View and a cheap broadband offering, like Tesco broadband. Freeview does not have the variety of channels of the extensive digital services, but it does not require a monthly subscription, just a one-time off payment for the set top-box.
Wireless broadband bundles and Hotspots
If you like the idea of bundling, wireless broadband, digital TV and phone, Virgin Media has some great headline offers. Besides providing wireless broadband services for the home, Virgin also has wireless broadband services for consumers on the go. They have even laid fibre in the London Underground, offering wireless broadband free to hoe broadband customers, and for a fee for non-subscribers.
Fon and BTs wireless internet network, BT Wi-Fi, enables customers to connect their laptops, smartphones and tablets to the internet around the UK. You are never too far from Wi-Fi connections with BT. Most residential packages come with inclusive Wi-Fi minutes or data usage. The bundled packages often offer a decent allowance.
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