Posts tagged ‘matthias kurth BnetzA’

Meet the Speaker: Matthias Kurth of Cable Europe

Meet the speaker: Matthias Kurth of Cable Europe

Matthias KurthMatthias Kurth joined Cable Europe in October 2012 as Executive Chairman. Mr. Kurth sits on Cable Europe’s Executive Committee which has oversight of the cable industry’s main representational duties in Europe. Matthias lastly held the position of President of the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), the authority for telecommunications, postal, energy and railway markets in Germany, including frequency management and digital signature. He played an instrumental role in the liberalization of the German energy market and left behind notable achievements with respect to competition in the telecommunications market. Matthias also served as Chairman of the European Regulators Group (ERG) in 2009 to increase regulatory cooperation at the EU level.

Matthias will be speaking at the Cable Congress 2014 event taking place in Amsterdam on 12-14 March 2014. For more information on how to register, please click here.

In your view, what were some of the biggest highlights for the industry since we last gathered for Cable Congress in London?

Matthias Kurth: In 2013 cable really showed what its networks could do for consumers in Europe. Cable’s massive investment over the years in broadband infrastructure has given operators a huge technology advantage that is now delivering on its potential. The upgrade of cable broadband speeds in commercial offers in Europe to 200 Mbps and even 500 Mbps in some markets is one key example. By combining its speed advantage with new service platforms and the inclusion of over the top, cable is affirming that it delivers the best value to the European consumer.

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges that should be driving cable’s priorities in 2014?

MK: This is a dynamic industry with an incredibly high level of competition between legacy players and new entrants, which is pushing the entire industry to keep up the pace of innovation and stay close to the customer. Fulfilling the customer’s growing and evolving needs and simplifying the use of platforms and services will remain a challenging factor for cable. If cable makes full use of the positive relationships it has with its clients, the industry will have the best, customer-focused perspectives and therefore be best positioned to keep growing in this highly competitive market.

2013 was a year of deal-making. What are the prospects for further consolidation and how could this stimulate industry growth?

MK: It’s true that there were a number of notable deals announced in 2013. Yet Europe’s cable landscape remains highly fragmented. Consolidation in such a disjointed market offers a chance to make better use of economies of scale and generates efficiencies so that more can be invested in infrastructure, products and services for end-users. Premium content – which is already experiencing high demand from customers – is getting more and more expensive, and carriers need a good market position for negotiations.

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes started a debate last year about the “Connected Continent” and creating a single market for broadband providers. What role does cable play in connecting Europe?

MK: When it comes to high speed broadband over 30 Mbps, cable has already connected the content better than other carriers. As an important investor in broadband infrastructure, we support the Commission in advocating for a more investment-friendly approach in the broadband market. Still, some topics in the proposals are controversial and the outcome is not yet clear.

Cable Congress in 2014 will focus on cable’s flourishing future – in your view what does that future look like and what will it take to get there?

MK: To predict the future is always difficult. What is for certain is that our industry has to face constant and dynamic change. If we learned the right lessons from the past – that we have to be ahead of our competitors when it comes to innovation and investment, then we are well prepared for the future.

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Statement on the Single Market #cable @cableeurope

A Single Market as a Platform to Boost Investments in Networks and First Class Broadband Experience in Europe

European Heads of States have given their green light this week for EU action in support of the digital economy to create an integrated single digital and telecoms market. It is the first time that the digital economy has been brought to the highest level of European decision making and this is applauded by Cable Europe.

To support a booming European digital economy there is a need for a continuous flow of investments in to underlying broadband infrastructure. A number of network providers have emerged over the last 15 years competing for customers and supplying broadband connectivity to the benefit of the whole economy at large.

“We are committed investors in our networks that we upgrade in anticipation of our customers’ needs. Cable companies have recently launched 500 Mbps services and further upgrades of the networks to deliver ultra fast speeds are yet to come, pushing competitors to react.  The continued growth of 8.4% in cable broadband subscribers tells us that the demand for connectivity is healthy – and on an upward growth trajectory” says Cable Europe Chairman Matthias Kurth.

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Cable Industry Looks Forward as 2013 Cable Congress Concludes On High Note

NEWS RELEASE

Cable Industry Looks Forward as 2013 Cable Congress Concludes On High Note

(Brussels, 8 March) After three days of debate and discussion on the future of the cable industry, Cable Congress 2013 concluded yesterday in London by sending a strong signal to operators and partners, competitors, investors, policymakers, regulators and consumers that the best is yet to come.

This year’s Cable Congress came at a time of great activity within the sector and in a city where technology, media and entertainment are leading globally. Both, Michael T. Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, and Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media appeared at the event to talk about their respective views on the industry and the recently announced merger of the two businesses. The week began by celebrating another strong year for cable at year-end 2012, with continued strong growth in the core lines of business and an unmistakable tipping point into the digital interactive television universe. As Europe experiences an economic downturn, the health of the industry was a frequently mentioned bright spot, as operators in even the hardest hit countries such as ONO in Spain and ZON in Portugal continue to grow and invest.

Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, commented: “The key takeaway is that our markets are irresistibly moving to greater and greater convergence. Cable’s drive to innovate, change and adapt, to consolidate will create significant value to society and a rich and rewarding experience to the consumer. Regulators must recognize this and take a forward-looking analysis of our fast-moving industry. The European communications industry remains fragmented and will need more transnational and national mergers and acquisitions to stand its ground.”

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Continued Investment Drives 5.5% Top-line Cable Growth, Adds Customers

NEWS RELEASE

Continued Investment Drives 5.5% Top-line Cable Growth, Adds Customers

Tipping point in Digital switchover helps drive European revenues to €20.6bn YE2012 as cable now counts 27mn high speed broadband users, 30.5mn Digital TV subscribers

(London, 5 March) Meeting today at Cable Congress 2013 in London, Cable Europe, the association bringing together Europe’s leading cable companies, is announcing fresh data from IHS Screen Digest that shows 5.5% top-line revenue growth across Europe, representing nearly €1bn in new revenues for 2012. The upward trend is explained by a shift towards digital for customers increasingly relying on the high speed fibre-rich broadband connections for which cable is known as well as the trend of increasingly accessing video content over cable’s high performance telecom networks.

“What we’re seeing this year is continued growth on the revenue side which gives us almost a billion reasons to be encouraged, but the really interesting story is why,” commented Cable Europe President, Manuel Kohnstamm. “In a market where you hear a lot about the over-the-top threat, the data shows that cable is embracing the power of the platform to deliver content how and when people want it. Stay close to the consumer, look at investment as a means to innovate and grow – this thinking is helping us find our stride as a viable competitor to connect Europe. The 8.4% growth in broadband subscribers also tells us a lot about Europe’s bright, connected future.”

Key YE2012 figures from new IHS Screen Digest analysis include:

  • Revenues for cable’s grew 5.5% to €20.6bn, nearly a €1bn increase in total cable revenues
  • Triple-play growth across different categories of services:

o Digital TV +12% revenue growth
o Internet +6.5% revenue growth
o Cable telephony +5.3% revenue growth

  • Video on Demand revenue jumped by 24%
  • European broadband subscribers jumped from 25 mn in 2011 to over 27 mn in 2012 – that is 8.4% growth towards what EU leaders call the Digital Agenda
  • Digital TV subscribers rose 9.2% to 30.5mn (28mn in 2011)
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Invitation from Matthias Kurth

Matthias Kurth Executive Chairman Cable Europe at Cable Congress - NEWDear Friends,

It is my great pleasure this year to welcome you to Cable Congress 2013 in London, Europe’s undisputed Digital Capital while we hold our flagship event in one of the most connected cities in the world. Last year I was a guest at Cable Congress while this year I welcome you as one of the hosts – change, one of the givens in industry that keeps us all on our toes.

The cable industry is ultimately a consumer driven business and the European consumer is sophisticated, connected and certainly not interested in waiting around for content. Our job is to deliver on that consumer experience when they want it, where they want it and how they want it. The fibre-rich high speed networks that we’re known for play an important if not sometimes invisible role in this regard.

You can be sure that our spectacular line-up of CEO interviews will touch on all of the business strategies built around staying a step ahead of consumer needs. You will also have an unmissable meeting of the minds as CTOs make a transatlantic bridge connecting the technology to the consumer. And it won’t surprise you to see how much our business is content-driven. We are proud of our premium content and to demonstrate this, you will be treated the premier of a series from a very big player in the content market.

Have a great time, do be sure to take advantage of the best networking date on the calendar and remember why you’re here: Cable is that unique crossroads of technology and content that keeps the consumers entertained, informed and connected – just like this year’s Cable Congress.

Best regards,

Matthias Kurth
Executive Chairman
Cable Europe

European Cable Industry Spreads the Love in Digital Capital

(Brussels, 14 February) Cable Europe, the trade association for the European cable industry, today celebrates consolidation and the role it plays in building strong cable players, stimulating healthy infrastructure and promoting competition ahead of its annual flagship industry gathering.

In keeping with the spirit of Valentine’s Day and ahead of Cable Europe’s annual conference with 69% of attendees at C-level, Director and Board Level, Cable Congress, takes place in London from 5-7 March 2013.  We look back over the past decade at how successful pairings have resulted in the consolidation of the European cable landscape. Where Europe once boasted around 10,000 providers, today this number is closer to 7,000 stronger, more efficient and more competitive operators.

Yet, despite the wave of combinations in recent years, the cable industry still remains highly fragmented. It will need further consolidation to compete over the long term and to help meet Europe’s Digital Agenda policy objectives of increased connectivity for consumers.

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth added:  “Cable’s investment in fibre- rich high speed networks plays an important if not sometimes invisible role in meeting the entertainment and connectivity needs of Europe’s sophisticated consumers. As the unique crossroads of technology and content that keeps us entertained, informed and connected, it’s entirely fitting that this year’s Cable Congress will take place in London, Europe’s undisputed Digital Capital and one of the most connected cities in the world.”

Cable Congress 2013 will feature the launch of new industry data with the contribution of fresh IHS Screen Digest data, the latest trends and an incredible line-up of industry all-stars across cable, content, technology and new media. Highlights include:

  • BBC World News Presenter Babita Sharma as Master of Ceremony
  • CNN anchor Becky Anderson’s exclusive interview with Liberty Global CEO Michael Fries
  • Keynote speech by Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media
  • Ed Vaizey, MP & UK Minister for Culture, Communications & Creative Industries
  • CEO panel featuring Berit Svendsen, Telenor Norway, Rosalia Portela, ONO and Dana Strong, UPC Ireland
  • Lorenz Glatz, CTO, Kabel Deutschland

New content, programme updates and interviews are being added regularly to www.cablecongress.com and don’t forget that 22 February is the last day to submit nomination entries for Cable Europe’s 2013 Fellow and Innovation Awards.

Interview with Matthias Kurth

In the run-up to Cable Congress 2013 we speak to Matthias Kurth of Cable Europe.

Matthias Kurth Executive Chairman Cable Europe at Cable CongressMatthias joined the organisation as Executive Chairman last October and sits on Cable Europe’s Executive Committee, which has oversight of the cable industry’s main representational duties in Europe. He previously held the position of President of BNetzA* and left behind notable achievements with respect to competition in the telecommunications market.

What stand out as some of cable’s priorities as we look at the state of the industry in 2013?

I have been talking a lot about the consumer since arriving here at Cable Europe, but that’s nothing new for me. Having previously worked as President of BnetzA*, I once called it Europe’s largest consumer protection organization. Having a healthy focus on who we are working for is vital in a business where our direct business relationship with customers is certainly coveted.

So what does the consumer want? The answer to that reveals cable’s priorities. The top priority is not to keep up but to keep ahead of what consumers want. How do we do that? By having the best infrastructure that delivers the best content out there. Consumers don’t really care about what the infrastructure is until it doesn’t work. But they do care more and more about moving their premium content around devices seamlessly and with the sort of high speed cable customers have grown to expect.

So there you have it, we expect to continue upgrading speeds so that consumers have the best quality of service out there. Cable Europe’s members are offering 100Mbps across Europe but speed for speed’s sake isn’t interesting. What is interesting is the high quality experience consumers can have with our continually upgraded networks. We are proud of the contribution we make to Europe’s high quality infrastructure. And it keeps customers coming back for more which, of course, makes everyone happy.

Can you tell us a bit about the importance of investing in next generation broadband to keep these positive trends on track?

Investment and innovation go hand in hand, it’s as simple as that. Cable’s ultra fast broadband services are achieved by relentless re-investment in our networks. We invest, on average in Europe, around 20-25% of revenues annually. And when talking CAPEX, it is worth recalling that the expenditures are made with the goal of both adding value and creating future benefits – for both the consumer and our businesses. There is an element of risk for the investors who make careful decisions based on consumer demand and other vital market condition indicators.

Last year was a turning point where Cable Europe opened Cable Congress with a press briefing that shared the news of 7% top-line revenue growth across the industry. We attributed strong revenue and subscriber growth to a harvest from steady investments that have brought us to where we are today: providers of a great service over a super infrastructure. A recent European Commission report had some great feedback for us. It said that:

  • Cable networks account for the next largest contribution to standard broadband coverage
  • The most important coverage across Europe or fixed next-generation access (NGA) is from cable
  • Docsis 3 cable is the biggest contributor to rural NGA coverage (RNC)
  • Docsis 3 services over the cable networks make a very important contribution to the availability of NGA in the study countries
  • Cable networks make about the same contribution to rural coverage as WiMAX

So it would seem that our investments help bring us to the point of having an infrastructure that is recognized by the European Commission for its wider benefits.

One of Europe’s most prominent tech women recently reminded us of the fibre power in cable networks. European Commissioner Neelie Kroes tweeted a photo of a piece of fibre from Cable Europe on her desk. Tell us a bit about the fibre power in cable’s networks and why it matters to consumers in Europe.

Vice President Kroes has the mind of a board member. Neelie always seeks to better understand business. If you ever have had a meeting with her, you know what I am talking about. She understands the need to encourage investment given its link to innovation. There is an element of pushing for higher speeds in her plan called the Digital Agenda. And we’re already achieving important parts of the Digital Agenda. The numbers in a Solon report that we presented to her personally back this up:  95% of households in the reach of European cable networks will be able to subscribe to high speed internet services from cable in 2020.  By the end of 2013 nearly all cable operators will have upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0, enabling 100-200 Mbps speeds — and higher. With DOCSIS 3.0 rolled out, 100 Mbps speeds are already becoming the standard and cable is projected to offer 51% of EU households 100Mbps or more by 2013.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

Together with Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, Matthias will welcome you to Cable Congress 2013, taking place on 5-7th March at The Lancaster in London.

View the latest conference agenda. With over 850 attendees from 35 countries, Cable Congress is the undisputed annual meeting place for the Who’s Who in the industry. This is where decisions are made, strategy for the year ahead is laid out and the cable industry chiefs gather for special event after special event.

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