Home » Help » Where did quad-play services come from?

Where did quad-play services come from?

Where did quad-play services come from?

Monday, 15 April, 2019

If an internet connection represents a sensible family saloon car, quad-play services are like a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.

Everything you could possibly need is at your fingertips, and you don’t really need to think about anything since it’s all handled on your behalf.

There’s another similarity as well, since quad-play services tend to be more expensive than anything else you might be quoted for in terms of domestic telecommunications.

Even so, these packages have steadily grown in popularity to become a mainstream option.

But what does quad-play actually mean, and does this concept really benefit consumers more than the providers?

A quad wrangle

Back in the olden days (of 2010), consumers tended to have a mobile contract with a smartphone network, TV from Sky or Virgin, a BT landline and another firm’s broadband.

This messy setup resulted in multiple annual contract renegotiations, and a he-said-she-said blame game if broadband connections developed a fault.

Consumers began migrating towards broadband services and phone line rental from one company, to reduce (or ideally eliminate) such conflicts.

However, mobile phones were taking over day-to-day calling duties from landlines.

At the same time, Freeview’s limited channel choice was being exposed by the wealth of channels on satellite and cable TV services.

There were clear economies of scale for service providers to provide all four of these media and communication platforms.

On-demand streaming and cloud services mean today’s consumers increasingly want to watch content on their phones, or make VoIP calls over the internet.

Technological convergence now means mobile data contracts can perform similar functions to landline broadband, while both can stream on-demand or catch-up TV.

Mobiles have largely supplanted landlines, with the latter primarily used as the underpinnings of broadband services.

Sky, Virgin Media and BT are among the providers offering suites of overlapping services, tempting new subscribers with economy-of-scale discounts.

The business case for quad-play services

Telecommunications firms know it’ll be difficult for a consumer to cancel a contract once everything is bundled into one account.

The hassle of renegotiating new TV, phone, mobile and broadband accounts is enough to deter many people from leaving.

Having attracted quad-play customers with introductory discounts, substantial annual price rises are less likely to cause defections than among single-item contract holders.

Companies also get unprecedented insight into customer behaviour, enabling them to maximise profits by offering curated products and services.

When everything is under one roof, it’s possible to achieve economies of scale in terms of customer-facing workforces (such as installation engineers and contact centre personnel.)

From the customer’s perspective

For many consumers, the convenience of having one contract to rule them all makes quad-play a highly desirable option.

Introductory deals are tempting, as is knowing a single firm is responsible for resolving any faults which arise.

However, the long-term implications of becoming enmeshed in a company’s quad-play infrastructure deserve careful consideration before signing on the dotted line.

Once you’re a quad-play customer, breaking up is hard to do.

Neil Cumins author picture

By:

Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

Home broadband speeds are improving – but how quickly?

It’s comforting to know our internet is getting faster, but progress still lags behind Government targets.

Home broadband speeds are improving – but how quickly?Home broadband speeds are improving – but how quickly? Read more

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so far

It’s been a year few of us will forget in a hurry, and we're only halfway through.

Read more

Instagram could become the main news source for young people.

Reuters finds changes in the way younger users consume the news.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

The importance of reviewing and renewing your broadband contract

Even if you have a busy family life and a demanding career, it’s vital to set aside time for reviewing and renewing your broadband contract

The importance of reviewing and renewing your broadband contractThe importance of reviewing and renewing your broadband contract Read more

How to check if your broadband is down

It might seem obvious that an outage has occurred, but there are easy ways to check if your broadband is down, or whether the problem is more localised

Read more

A guide to Big Tech alternatives.

It seems like we’re reliant on a small group of companies, are there alternatives?

Read more

Quick tips for boosting home broadband speed

Read more