Spanish cable operator ONO can prosper despite the economic problems buffeting Spain, according to CEO Rosalia Portela.
Manuel Kohnstamm, SVP and Chief Policy Officer of Liberty Global and President of Cable Europe talks about growth and changing consumer habits for cable customers.
The blocking of its acquisition of Tele Columbus will enable Kabel Deutschland to bring forward investment plans, explains COO Manuel Cubero.
Interviewed by DTVE ahead of Cable Congress, ONO’s Sequeira said the operator is pleased with the progress of the TiVo service so far. ONO implemented software upgrades to the service in July and November last year and is in the process of adding new functionality to the platform. “We are in the process of bringing new features and functionality to the box. We are quite happy about the way it’s going. For the future it’s about continuing to evolve the platform, but there will be no big changes. It’s a very good product for top-tier customers,” said Sequeira.
ONO is offering two version of the platform – a DVR version and a zapper (which is basically the same box with the DVR functionality disabled). The operator is considering introducing pilot schemes whereby potential customers will be given a free trial of a DVR box and then downgraded to a zapper if they decide they don’t want to sign up to the full service. At the moment this is still very much at the trial stage, says Sequeira.
The cable industry can only be characterized by one thing: Constant change. Keeping the best content and upgrading the best networks are only the beginning of getting to grips with ongoing change and long term strategic planning required to keep steps ahead of the European consumer. In the age of constant connectivity, keeping up with the customer requires fast decision making from the top.
The women who matter most to the cable industry came together this year to Cable Congress for a special exchange on what it takes to make it to the top – and stay there.
Wireless access is now emerging as the next frontier for cable operators, and operators want to tap demand from their customers for pervasive high-performance connectivity, Cable Congress attendees heard.
“We would like to create a step change in connectivity in the same way we did with fixed broadband,” said Kevin Baughan, Director, Metro Wireless, Virgin Media Business, who was responsible for the company’s recent deployment of WiFi on the London Underground, speaking on a panel session on WiFi at Cable Congress.
Virgin Media is working with mobile operators to deploy small cell networks and WiFi networks, said Baughan. The company has put together a hosting service to work in partnership with cities to deliver small cells that can be used for mobile backhaul, which Virgin media already provides from a smaller number of access points, in addition to WiFi.
The company has also won concessions from Leeds and Bradford to deliver WiFi networks across both cities.”It’s a business model based on the success of small cells,” said Baughan. The WiFi networks Virgin Media is building are powerful enough to give coverage inside buildings as well as in outdoor areas, which was important, he said. The Leeds and Bradford WiFi networks are branded by the local city authorities and operated by Virgin Media.
Baughan said Virgin Media had not yet taken a decision to go down the FON-type approach of partitioning its own subscribers’ cable modems using second SSIDs to deliver wider WiFi coverage. He said that the company had made sure its modems were capable of supporting this type of deployment, but had not yet taken a decision on this.
Liberty Global CTO Balan Nair discusses the lessons learned so far from the rollout of Horizon.
Andrew Barron, COO of Virgin Media talks about consolidation and regulation, and mobile convergence in the UK market at Cable Congress 2013.
Cable is growing revenue faster than satellite competiton, according to IHS Screen Digest.
Looking at the triple-play bundle taken together, cable’s success in marketing telecom and internet services, which now accounts for the majority of cable revenue in 10 EU markets, has led it to outpacing satellite TV companies in terms of overall revenue growth, IHS Screen Digest TV research director Guy Bisson told Cable Congress attendees this morning.
Growth over the last five years has come from eastern Europe and some western European markets such the Benelux countries, said Bisson. Over the next five years, Germany will continue to grow strongly and eastern European growth will accelerate. The Nordic countries are expected to grow strongly, with others including the Benelux turning in moderate growth.
Growth will come from digitisation, said Bisson. Digital penetration across the EU 27 countries is growing and will give cable ongoing growth even if it does nothing else, he said. However, this growth will be accelerated by converting more single-play customers into telecom and internet customers as well as TV subscribers.
Bisson said cable operators also had the opportunity to embrace new lines of business, including CDN services and delivery of services from the cloud to devices outside the home.