Rogers Communications is counting on its new Ignite TV initiative to do more than fuel fresh video growth in Canada. It's also betting on the Ignite brand to drive further broadband growth.
Rogers has so far rolled out the cloud-based Ignite TV offering in the provinces of Ontario and Newfoundland and plans to extend the X1-syndicated service to New Brunswick this summer. The cableco is also gearing up to improve the home WiFi networking experience for customers. Rogers introduced a next-gen WiFi management device, Ignite WiFi Hub, last month and plans to follow up soon with more powerful WiFi extenders in customers' homes.
Like Ignite TV, the new home WiFi devices are syndicated versions of products originally developed by Comcast, in this case, the xFi home networking management platform that the US MSO is now deploying throughout its regions.
"We're very excited about the Ignite roadmap and what's coming around the corner," said Rogers President and CEO Joe Natale. "As a result, there's some really interesting stuff coming."
With its 1 Gig service now available virtually throughout its 4.4 million-home footprint thanks to its rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, Rogers is especially focused on improving the in-home networking experience.
"What we really see from customers more than anything else is they want internet reliability," Natale said, noting that the operator now monitors 2.5 million WiFi devices daily to ensure customers have "a terrific" in-home experience. "They want Internet and WiFi that works, and works well."
Even though its broadband sub base is still growing at a healthy clip, Rogers could use a little lift on that side of the business. The operator netted 22,000 data subscribers in the second quarter, down slightly from 23,000 a year ago, to close out June with nearly 2.47 million subs. Internet revenues fared much better, climbing 7% to C$573 million, thanks to price hikes and subs upgrading to higher-priced speed tiers.
With 16 straight quarters of broadband sub growth behind it, Rogers has now signed up an impressive 57% of its homes passed for high-speed Internet service, Natale noted. But, in spite of greater competition from Bell Canada and FTTH players, he still sees room for further growth, especially once Rogers fully deploys its next-gen WiFi equipment and services.
"We're now sitting at 57% penetration across our footprint of 4.4 million homes and businesses passed, and those numbers are holding up, whether it's in a competitor's fiber territory or not," he said. "It's holding up in condo buildings in downtown Toronto, it's holding up in suburban parts of Canada, it's holding up in more sparsely populated parts of Canada where we have a footprint and operations as a whole."
In a provocative new BBWN webinar, Broadband Success Partners' Jack Burton will delve into cable's next-gen HFC architecture plans and explain why going all-fiber may make more sense for operators right now.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.