In telecommunications, triple play service is a marketing term for the provisioning, over a single broadband connection, of: two bandwidth-intensive services, high-speed Internet access and television, and the latency-sensitive telephone. Triple play focuses on a combined business model rather than solving technical issues or a common standard. However, single standards like G. hn do exist to deliver all these services on a common platform.
A so-called quadruple play (or quad play) service integrates mobility as well, often by supporting dual mode mobile plus Wi-Fi phones that shift from GSM to WiFi when they come in range of a home wired for triple-play service. Typical Generic Access Network services of this kind, such as Rogers Home Calling Zone, allow the caller to enter and leave the range of their home Wi-Fi network, and only pay GSM rates for the time they spend outside the range.
Calls at home are routed over the IP network and paid at a flat rate per month. No interruption or authorization for the shift is required—soft handoff takes place automatically as many times as the caller enters or leaves the range. By about 2000, cable TV companies were in a technical position to offer triple play over one physical medium to a large number of their customers, as their networks already have sufficient bandwidth to carry hundreds of video channels.
Cable’s main competition for television in North America came from satellites, which cannot compete for voice and interactive broadband due to the latency imposed by physical laws on a geosynchronous satellite—sometimes up to one full second of delay between speaking and being heard. Cable’s main competition for voice and Internet access came from Telco’s, which were not yet able to compete for television in most markets because DSL over most local loops could not provide enough bandwidth.
As an interim marketing move while they installed fiber closer to the customer, Telco’s such as AT&T did co-promotion deals with satellite TV providers to sell television, telephone, and Internet access services bundled for billing purposes although the services provided through a satellite link and the services provided through a phone line are not technically related. Telco’s that own wireless phone networks also included those as part of such billing-only bundles because most cable companies do not own wireless networks