France Telecom is testing a new electronic newspaper with the French newspaper industry called Read & Go.
Seven French publications have joined France Télécom for the test, which is intended to provide a convincing facsimile of its traditional counterpart. 120 people in France are testing the device, which allows them to download the participating newspapers contents over France Télécom's wireless network.
France Télécom is not the first company to experiment with electronic "paper" versions of newspapers. The Kindle, sold by Amazon.com, already allows customers to subscribe to e-paper versions of 19 newspapers. However, Read & Go is different as it can run adverts.
If successful, France Télécom plans to introduce the product in other markets, like Britain, where the company has mobile networks.
This product is being watched closely in the French market, as there are hopes that it could aid the flagging industry. Only 42 percent of adults regularly read newspapers in France, compared with 48 percent in the United States and 73 percent in Germany, according to the World Association of Newspapers.
The seven French publications participating in Read & Go include: Le Monde, Le Figaro, Le Parisien and Libération, which is being added to the test this month; a sports daily, L'Équipe; a business newspaper, Les Échos; and a weekly entertainment and culture magazine called Télérama.
Pascal Laroche, director of digital editions at Libération, said his paper viewed the project as a supplement for its existing products.
Source: The New York Times