France Telecom is to provide a combined mobile and fixed-line the first of its kind, in the UK. The move will allow the company to offer a cut-price broadband offer for cell phone customers priced at 9.99 pounds per month. The Wireless & Talk package will provide customers with 2 megabits-per-second as well as an Internet phone-calling (or VoIP) service. The group's Orange mobile arm will also slash the cheapest of its third-generation (3G) high-speed mobile phone contract deals by 50 percent to 12.50 pounds per month.

Independent consulting company Ovum said the 3G promotion was representative of other European operator deals, adding that take-up had been relatively slow. Orange had about 92,000 3G customers in the UK at the end of June.

However, Ovum analyst Carrie Pawsey added: "By signing up for the discounted broadband service, Orange/Wanadoo not only gets a new broadband customer but also locks in the mobile customer too. Thus, this offer acts as a mobile retention strategy as well as appealing to new broadband customers."