Europe is a quad-play market where cable operators must offer converged products and services to reduce customer churn and increase revenue, said a top Liberty Media executive during an investment conference this week.
Speaking at the fourth-annual
MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit -- also webcast via Liberty Global's investor relations department -- Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Broadband and chairman, president and CEO of Liberty TripAdvisor (spun off from Liberty Media and Liberty Interactive) touted the need to offer a mix of fixed-line broadband cable, Internet, mobile and security.
"We are in a quad-play market today. it's not a theoretical thing. It's a very real thing. We know quad play reduces churn. We know people are much more likely to buy mobile from a fixed provider than they are fixed from a mobile provider," he said.
While it has taken steps to deliver on this vision, Maffei admitted its quad-play offerings are still works in progress, even in its three largest markets -- the United Kingdom, Belgium and Holland. Each nation has its own approach; Liberty Global then expects to use best practices learned from these in-country lessons across its other markets, he said.
In the UK, for example, Liberty Global's Virgin is an MVNO that partners with BT; Virgin offers enhanced video, broadband internet, fixed-line digital telephony, and mobile. In Belgium, 190,000 customers use Telenet's fully converged product, said Maffei. And although 600,000 overlapping subscribers of Ziggo and Vodafone received discounts, that's only the beginning of the program in Holland, he said.
"In the UK we haven't even moved our customer SIM cards over to MVNO yet. We haven't taken full advantage of the 4G pricing and the benefit of the BT deal. That's all happening over the next two, three years," said Maffei.
"We haven't converged, truly converged product yet. In Belgium, we have not moved a single Telenet customer over to the base network yet, no synergies yet. We've launched a fully converged product, but that's early days. In Holland, we just launched the deal. We're in transition in terms of executing the full quad-play but we know for sure it reduces churn and creates opportunities," he added.
The cable operator, which recently finalized its acquisition of NewWave Communications, sees continued growth from high-speed data and business services powered by fiber-based ultra-broadband, executives told a financial conference this week.
During the first quarter of 2017, cable operators gained about 1 million subscribers in this period, while the top telephone companies lost approximately 45,000 subscribers, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.
Global communications service providers continue to evolve their networks to deliver the user-driven service models and higher bandwidths demanded by consumers. At the same time, 5G densification initiatives are top of mind around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells needing an open, programmable and highly scalable access technology to fuel the growing demand for connectivity. As a result, 5G densification projects will demand fixed-access networks, supporting fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications that provide:
Service agility by applying modern data center principles aligned with DevOps service creation and deployment
Hardware and facilities redundancy offering unprecedented business continuity
Low latency supporting the rigid specifications of the 5G standard
Network elasticity to support service growth to not just multi-gigabit, but multi-10Gbit/s levels
Cost sensitivity supporting mass market services further enabled by Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS)
With the current maturation of 10G broadband technologies, and the heightened demand for high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity, 2017 is promising to be the year mass-market, multi-gigabit 10Gbit/s fiber services become commercially viable.
NG-PON2 broadband access technology is already in trials with multiple major network operators but is it too early for the commercial deployment of this next generation ultra-broadband technology? In this UBB2020 live radio show, ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub provides an update on NG-PON2 developments and chats to Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre about how this technology could play a role in production access networks in 2017.