Wanadoo Broadband Home Gateway

Wanadoo, owned by France Télécom, will launch a broadband gateway for home subscribers in August, featuring a unit called Livebox.

Livebox is essentially a router, and its initial selling point will be to allow home users to set up a wireless network easily – but the box has other uses lurking inside. For example, the UK£80 (€120) box is Bluetooth enabled and will soon offer a phone service that will compete with BT’s own Bluephone.

Wanadoo will offer VoIP calls using Livebox from next year and once the local loop is unbundled then they’ll be able to offer fatter broadband pipes – and then video on demand. Subscribers will then be able to watch TV on demand on PCs around their home, wirelessly. Livebox is not a set top box, so will not be muscling in too far on Sky+ territory.

BT are still doing their “yes we are, no we’re not” dance with regards to being a broadband content provider, and have talked down their broadcasting ambitions in the last couple of weeks.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?