Posts tagged ‘broadband’

EUROPE, A LEADER NOT A LAGGARD by Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman, Cable Europe #CableCongress2015

Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman, Cable Europe

Matthias Kurth,
Executive Chairman,
Cable Europe

Since I joined Cable Europe in 2012 I’ve become accustomed to a particular feeling that the New Year brings. I’m not referring to the promise of change and betterment (though I have made a few of my own resolutions for 2015), but of the excitement and anticipation that builds in the run up to Cable Congress.

Reasons always abound for why Cable Congress is the must-attend event for the industry. In the last few years the cable sector has been in a permanent state of change. Competition with telecommunication companies, infrastructure carriers and content providers has driven a constant reshaping of business models.  We’re seeing M&A activity and continued investor appetite on one side and fast changes in technology and value creation strategies on the other. It’s an exciting mix. Cable Congress is the only place where leading players come together to discuss these trends, how to deal with emerging challenges and how to create new opportunities.

“We’re seeing M&A activity and continued investor appetite on one side and fast changes in technology and value creation strategies on the other.”

I’m particularly excited about Congress coming back to Brussels following a year that has brought many changes to the EU’s political landscape and a strong commitment by the new European Commission to the digital economy. With many policymakers from the European Commission and the European Parliament expected to be in attendance, I look forward to hearing more about plans to realise the Digital Single Market in Europe. Critically though, the digital agenda and further investment in high speed broadband can only be enhanced if we all have trust in a stable and forward-looking policy framework. To do this, we need balanced policy discussions focused on finding smart solutions, which we will kick off with dialogue at the Congress.

“We need balanced policy discussions focused on finding smart solutions.”

While we often hear in Europe that we are playing catch up with the US in the technology space, when I compare the investment climate in Europe with the United States, I am actually rather optimistic about some of the regulatory trends. Take net neutrality. Whereas President Obama has indicated he wants to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Telecommunications act that stems from the 1930s, I see early indicators of a markedly more rational and fruitful solution in Europe. The European Commission, along with an increasing number of national governments, is convinced there is a win-win solution to be had between upgrading internet access and driving the development of innovative, specialised services such as videoconferencing, telemedicine and M2M communications. This contrasts starkly with President Obama’s message, which came as a shock to investors, and leads to uncertainty about the investment environment in the US.

“I believe Europeans might have the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to investment in broadband and digital infrastructure.”

In fact, I believe Europeans might have the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to investment in broadband and digital infrastructure. While every investor will think carefully about the legal and regulatory infrastructure it interacts with, it is clear that better broadband and private investment can form a cornerstone of Europe’s digital agenda. To be sure, regulation played an important role in opening up former government monopolies, but the landscape has changed dramatically in telecommunication over the last 15 years. A modern way of regulation has to reflect that and leave more and more ground to market forces and innovation. Europe is moving in the right direction.


Cable Congress will be taking place in Brussels from 11-13 March 2015, The SQUARE, Brussels. For more information and to register, please click here.

Cable Congress eBook: Trends Impacting Global Broadband Markets

The global marketplace for broadband services is dynamic and growing

At the end of 2011, approximately 660 million households subscribed to an Internet service, and about 580 million, 32% of all global households, received broadband service. The populous countries in Western Europe have high broadband penetration – but predictably, they are showing signs of slowing growth.

  • Germany is Western Europe’s largest broadband market with over 26 million homes subscribing to broadband services.
  • France has over 22 million broadband subscribers. The growth of broadband in France can be credited to a greater demand for high-bandwidth applications, the growth of fiber-based services, and governmental actions to promote broadband growth.
  • Broadband penetration among U.K. homes was 74% at the end of 2011.
  • The global recession and Italy’s lagging economy have had a significant and negative effect on Italy’s telecom sector. By 2011, approximately one-half of Italian homes subscribed to broadband service.
  • Broadband penetration in Spain grew to 65% of households by the end of 2011.


Market Saturation
In many Western European countries, operators feel the squeeze of market saturation as household penetration rates for broadband approach or exceed 75%. In these markets, where most new additions are at the expense of other broadband providers, operators focus on retention strategies that incorporate benefits beyond mere price reductions.

These providers have initiated bundling to lure and keep customers, focusing on deploying services with an eye towards capturing customers and maximizing the ARPU that broadband services offer.

Trends Impacting Global Broadband Markets

  • Saturation & shrinking of DSL services in mature markets
  • Impact of PC adoption on broadband growth in emerging markets
  • Growth of usage-based business models
  • Growth of wireless broadband
  • Emergence of cloud-based services

The Shrinking of DSL in Mature Markets
DSLbased services are often the quickest to reach consumers since they rely on copper phone lines that are already installed in many homes. However, the growth of DOCSIS 3.0-based cable services and fiber-based services in mature markets is leading to a rapid transition of power among operators. Incumbents that have held power for years are finding a dwindling DSL subscriber base. This loss of subscribers is forcing many to invest in FTTx services in order to compete with cable operators.

The Critical Importance of PC Adoption
Emerging countries considering technology or broadband growth initiatives should include programs for computer adoption as a facet of their future growth plans in order to quickly move their population forward.


SOLON REPORT: Broadband on Demand: Cable’s 2020 Vision

Broadband on Demand: Cable’s 2020 Vision

High-quality network infrastructure and broad coverage are regarded as fundamental preconditions for a prospering and growing Europe. To support Europe´s way towards a modern information and knowledge society, the European Commission (EC) consistently drives the development of the broadband market. With the “Digital Agenda for Europe” (referred to as the Digital Agenda), it has now set new ambitious key targets for future broadband development: improved broadband availability and ultra high speed levels, a single digital market, and digital inclusion.

Cable operators provide European citizens with very high speed access to the digital space. Having originally been established to broadcast TV signals, cable operators made substantial investments in modernising their networks to introduce internet capability. At the end of 2010 about 24m households across Europe subscribed to broadband cable internet. A total of 112m households are in the technical footprint of European cable operators and can opt to subscribe to the TV, broadband and telephony packages offered by cable operators.

The European cable industry´s contribution to the Digital Agenda`s argets is outstanding in a whole range of critical areas:


Interview with Roland Klemann, MD IBSG SP W. Europe, Cisco

For cable, do tablets & smartphones represent a threat or opportunity?

Both. These new devices really have the potential to transform the cable industry. Firstly, consumers just do different things. They spend their money and time browsing apps stores, rather than watching old school TV offerings. Secondly, tablets and smart phones offer a point of entry for new over-the-top players who get an easy and direct access to end consumers, billing relationship included. Thirdly, the traditional, mostly ad-funded TV business model is under immense pressure. And finally, a lot of interactive services like VoD get delivered via IP to IP devices rather than via coax cables to TV sets and set-top boxes.

But iPads will not kill the video star. There is a brave new world of opportunities out there for cable. Cable can reach beyond the set-top box, and deliver video to multiple devices. As consumers do not want to make any more appointments with their TV sets, but decide when and where to consume If you go from the traditional… cable put the control into the hands of the consumer. The lean-back TV experience is already evolving into “any device, anytime, anywhere” delivery, and tablets and smartphones will enable content discovery and new advanced services. Cable with its massive bandwidth advantages over DSL can thus become the gatekeeper of the digital home.

Most importantly, cable can enable tablets and smartphones by becoming a player in mobile and nomadic connectivity. The advances in WiFi technology and other small cell technologies open new ways to deliver nomadic access for tablets and smartphones. We estimate that in Western Europe alone, there is an opportunity of more than € 10 billon up for grabs … the question is who will capture it. Cable? Or other players?

Are current levels of growth in data consumption sustainable?

Most of the new devices will use mobile networks to connect to the internet. Especially the consumption of high quality “anywhere, anytime, any device” video will drive the demand for bandwidth. For example, a tablet consumes more than 120 times the data traffic of a basic mobile phone! The availability of an ubiquitous broadband infrastructure for nomadic and mobile access may therefore become a major bottleneck.


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