This week the French telephone company, Neuf Cegetel, announced the purchase of AOL France, an ISP that counts 500.000 broadband subscribers & the arrival of “the box“, an Internet access terminal. Code-name: Easy Gate.
It’s a computer, working under the OS, Linux. It’s a router. It’s a DSL modem. It’s also a telephone. All in one.
Easy Gate will be available from November, the actuel “box” consists of: an Intel 852 GM, 6 ports USB 2.0, 512 MB of RAM and 512 MB of Flash memory, for a guarantee of 150 euros & 39,95 euros per month. An extra100 euros buys a flat screen, webcam, keyboard & mouse.
Article source TOOLinux (french)
With this service, Neuf Cegetel, busy preparing its introduction onto the the stock exchange in October, hopes to conquer new customers who still hesitate over using the Internet, dicouraged by the complexity of computers.
There are 10.5 millions broadband users in France, an average figure in Euopean terms, on the other hand France is lagging behind in actual PC’s, with just over 50% of households equipped.
A spokeman for Neuf Cegetel stated: “After installation, the user has a broadband connection & the principle functions of a computer via a simplified, user-friendly interface, reducing the complexity of using a computer as an Internet tool”.
ps: the hotline & after-sales services will be free – no doubt a lesson learned from AOL.