Numericable launches new integrated box as Free launches 3G

French cable operator Numericable has launched a new integrated set-top box and cable modem.

Numericable’s One Box will be on sale from January 16. The operator said that it would deliver internet speeds of up to 200Mbps in certain districts of Paris as well as access to the operator’s digital TV services. The box will be available for a monthly subscription of €59.90, including access to 300 TV channels, the internet and unlimited calls to fixed and mobile numbers.

The box features four tuners, a Blu-ray player, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a removable 40-500GB hard drive and two phone lines. It also includes access to social networking features such as Facebook on TV and a video-on-demand price comparison engine and intelligent content search.

Numericable’s announcement was somewhat overshadowed by rival ISP Free’s launch of its 3G mobile phone service on the same day. The operator is providing a bundle of unlimited calls within France and 40 international destinations, texts and multimedia messages and internet access for €19.99, which it says is two and half times cheaper than the nearest rival. It is also offering a bundle of 60 minutes of calls and 60 texts for €2, which it says is four times cheaper than the nearest rival. These offers are available for €15.99 and no charge respectively to existing Freebox customers.

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