2014 Event to Highlight European Cable Sector’s Flourishing Future on its High Train to Growth
(Brussels, 10 March) Cable Europe’s Cable Congress, the much anticipated annual industry gathering taking place from 12-14 March in Amsterdam, is shaping up as just the ticket for those steeped in the converging worlds of entertainment and technology. An all-star line-up of leaders from across cable, content, tech and new media will be on hand to discuss the latest trends and developments in the industry, as well as their strategies to compete and grow in the years to come.
The flagship conference will kick off with the release of brand new 2013 year-end pan-European cable industry data supplied by IHS. Highlights are expected to include continued growth in new customers as well as a powerful top-line increase in total cable revenues. Europe’s cable industry now serves more than 109 million Revenue Generating Units (RGUs), an industry metric measuring the number of services – TV, internet and telephony – delivered to customers. More statistics on growth in these three product areas, as well as in digital services like Video on Demand, will be unveiled on Day 1.
“There’s no blowing smoke about what the cable industry is delivering to European consumers,” according to Cable Europe’s Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth. “Tunnel vision, when focused on the customer, is a game changer that cable is exploiting. Last year saw cable operators upgrading commercially available broadband speeds to 200 Mbps and even 500 Mbps in European markets. At this year’s Cable Congress we’ll hear more about how the industry is leveraging the power of these networks, in combination with new services and the inclusion of over the top and premier content, to deliver the absolute best value to its customers. This year is a can’t miss for those interested in the future of cable in Europe.”
In addition to the release of new industry data, the 2014 Cable Congress programme is packed with engaging sessions and high-profile executive appearances, including:
- Keynote speech by visionary President & CEO of AMC Networks, Josh Sapan
- C-Suite panel hosted by CNN’s Nina Dos Santos, featuring Michael Fries, Liberty Global, Manuel Cubero, Kabel Deutschland, Carsten Dilling, TDC and Bert Habets, RTL Nederland
- A fireside chat with René Obermann, Ziggo
- Cable’s technology wheel of fortune with Paul Hendriks, Ziggo, Balan Nair, Liberty Global, and Lorenz Glatz, Kabel Deutschland, hosted by Babita Sharma, BBC News
- The third annual Cable Europe Awards, honouring contributions from individuals and companies helping to move the European cable industry forward
- Unparalleled networking opportunities, with 69% of attendees at C-level, Director and Board Level
For the latest news on Cable Congress 2014, please visit www.cablecongress.com, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow all of the discussion live using #cablecongress.
The blocking of its acquisition of Tele Columbus will enable Kabel Deutschland to bring forward investment plans, explains COO Manuel Cubero.
Cable Congress Sessions Highlight Market-Winning Strategies
(London 7 March 2013) Continuing to consolidate, harnessing the power of mobile, up-selling fibre-rich telecoms services, and taking the cable experience out of the home are among the market-winning strategies that will position cable to capitalize as the industry takes on new competitors and increasingly moves towards content provided over the internet, said members of cable‟s C-suite and other industry experts on the second day of Cable Congress in London.
Andrew Barron, COO of Virgin Media, said, “Only the paranoid survive. Innovation, being close to our customers and finding any advantage over the competition is key. The next decade of cable is about mobile, B2B and extending the relationship with the customer beyond the home.” He added: “We are a very innovative industry and we should be proud of this.”
According to Guy Bisson of IHS Screen Digest, “Telecoms services are becoming core because of the way cable has positioned itself through bundling.” However, he noted that cable is now moving beyond the mobile quad play and toward bundling of Wi-Fi services in and outside the home. Bisson‟s research shows that there are 1.4m fewer cable homes than five years ago, but 17.7m more RGUs – that is because for every analogue customer lost, 13 new RGUs are added.
A recurring theme has been the need for operators to keep the customer at the forefront – innovating to deliver products they want and at a competitive cost. Discussions on the pan-European C-Suite panel showed that these customer strategies can differ market-by-market. Manuel Cubero, COO, Kabel Deutschland Holding AG highlighted the importance of fibre, network capacity and speed: “In Germany the customer wants to download as much as possible through their network. We are investing 26% of our revenues in CapEx every year and most of it is on fibre.” This contrasts to the UK market where consumers give preference to selecting the package that best suits their needs. Luis Lopes, COO of Portugal’s ZON, added: “We are trying to sell an experience not products,” an approach that helped his company grow revenues 3 percent in 2012 despite an economic downturn in Portugal.
Ahead of Cable Congress 2013 we speak to Luis Lopes, COO of Zon about cable priorities for 2013, Zon’s vision of broadband anywhere and more…
From your operational standpoint, what do you think will drive cable’s priorities as we look at the state of the industry in 2013? In my view some of the key priorities will be to (1) continue to drive innovation in particular in the TV experience area – cable has to have the uncontested most innovative and best tv experience; (2) Continue to push broadband speeds well ahead of ADSL and (3) continue improve efficiency to be able to continue improving the bottom line particularly in the context of a very difficult economic environment. I also believe that cable will continue to pursue market share growth in the SMEs leveraging on superior broadband products
Tell us a bit about the ZON’s vision of broadband anywhere and why WiFi is increasingly important to cable. We want our customers to continue to use ZON services even when they leave their homes or offices. Adding a mobile broadband offer was an important part – we did it through an MVNO deal several years ago – but we thought that was not enough so we have been developing a very extensive Wi-Fi network using dual Wi-Fi Routers that we install in our customer premises. If the customer enables the second Wi-Fi network he can use for free any other Wi-Fi “hotspot”. We have currently around 500.000 hotspots with a very impressive usage and customer satisfaction.
Can you tell us a bit about what the competitive landscape for the European cable industry looks like and how it has changed over the past few years? Cable became a very strong challenger to most European fixed incumbents and in many cases with significant competitive advantage. We have seen most players starting to launch multi-screen strategies and improving their core TV product experience bringing more innovation to the end consumer and in some markets fixed-mobile convergence become an important trend that will shape our competitive landscape.
What sorts of strategies have you noticed cable executives adopting to stay ahead, especially where innovation is concerned? In the last two years in particular we have seen a lot of innovation…
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE
Luis Lopes will join Manuel Cubero, COO, Kabel Deutschland, Gunnar Evensen, CEO, GET, Paul Hendriks, CTO, Ziggo and Andrew Barron, COO, Virgin Media for the C-Suite Panel discussion, taking place at 16.15 on Day 2 of Cable Congress 2013. Click here for the latest agenda.