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Orange launches next-generation box in France

Orange has unveiled its latest-generation set-top box and gateway for the French market, the Livebox 5, which the operator says addresses the growing internet usage of its customers and their need to share bandwidth within the home.

The fibre-dedicated box, which does not require a separate fibre ONT, can deliver up to 2Gbps of bandwidth downstream and 600Mbps upstream to households, enabling up to 1Gbps to be delivered to individual devices within each household.

The box includes smart WiFi functionality that Orange says shows an improvement of 40% in downstream bandwidth compared with previous versions.

To accommodate the capabilities of the box and the fact that the average French home now has close to six connected screens, Orange has also launched two new commercial offerings, Livebox Up and Packs Open.

All new customers, including both fibre and xDSL subscribers will benefit from being able to serve two TV screens simultaneously to watch Orange’s TV service. They can choose to have a second 4K UHD TV Dolby Atmos-compatible set-top as part of the Livebox 5 offering, or alternatively opt for a TV key to enable them to watch Orange TV anywhere in Europe.

The new offerings also include a WiFi repeater and access to Orange’s smart home offering.

Orange also says that the new box has a carbon footprint 29% down on that of the previous generation of boxes.

Livebox Up Fibre is available for €30.99 for the first 12 months  and €49.99 thereafter, while Packs Open Up Fibre is available for €28.99 for 12 months and €52.99 afterwards.

Orange’s launch follows the launch of new-generation boxes by rivals Free at the end of last year and Altice/SFR this summer. While Orange is offering smart WiFi, its box is not WiFi 6-compatible, unlike the SFR Box 8. Orange does not appear to be offering any major changes to the 4K UHD TV box half of the package, instead focusing on innovation in the gateway/server element.

Free launched the Freebox Delta in December last year, while SFR followed up with the launch of its own device, the SFR Box 8, in August.