Also today, Canada's telecom regulator cut wholesale broadband pricing, Freenet could slam brakes on Sunrise's shiny new deal and Vodafone tries a new bundle for broadband and mobile.
Liberty Global is planning a startup fiber operator in the UK to target non-metro areas; it will put the new firm in the hands of a top Virgin Media executive, according to published reports. Robert Dunn is leaving his chief financial officer role at Virgin Media, Reuters said today. The 19-year Virgin veteran will move to a new position at parent company Liberty Global where he'll look at "potential infrastructure investments in the UK," the Financial Times reported, crediting an internal document its reporter had seen. Dunn will head a joint venture fund being formed by LionTree to deploy these new fiber lines beyond Virgin Media's footprint, FT said. Dunn's Virgin Media deputy Bill Castell will become acting CFO.
Might As Well Face It...
You're addicted to gigs. That, at least, is the expectation Liberty Global has, and that's why it plans to start a fiber-only operator focused on rural regions of the UK -- perhaps even Bentley, Hampshire, the birthplace of the late singer Robert Palmer.
Canada's telecom regulator on Thursday said it lowered wholesale broadband rates to increase competition among operators and ISPs. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandates that large cablecos and telcos open parts of their work, at government rates, to improve accessibility, cost and competition, even though Tier 1s have made all investments and provide all maintenance. CRTC said final rates are 15% to 43% lower than interim monthly capacity rates and 3% to 77% lower for access rates it set in 2016. Tier 1s have warned their investments and deployments could be decreased if wholesale rates are too low and earnings suffer, as a result.
Beaming In Changes
What happens if these customers switch to an alternate service -- something powered by Gfast or fiber? As satellite operators rightly worry about space waste, there's also the issue of roof and wall trash.(Photo: Paweł Czerwiński, Unsplash)
German telco conglomerate Freenet is threatening Sunrise Communications' proposed $6.4 billion takeover of Liberty Global's Swiss unit, UPC, after it today demanded a price cut and amendment of terms, Reuters reported. In April, Freenet held up Sunrise's plan to approve new capital that would help pay for the all-cash deal. But now Freenet CEO Christoph Vilanek told Reuters the transaction is "unfavorable towards existing shareholders," the price must be lowered and risks reallocated. Swiss anti-monopoly regulators still must approve the deal; Vilanek expects word to come next month. (See German Fibercos Going Up for Sale – Report.)
Vodafone this week announced a bundle featuring home broadband and unlimited mobile data, with no additional fee for 5G. For a limited time, the Vodafone Together program includes free Amazon Echo Plus for new home broadband users, hands-free calling via Alexa and Vodafone OneNumber, management using My Vodafone App plus in-person assistance through the operator's 400-plus retail outlets, along with app- and online-based reps. As of Aug. 14, unlimited home broadband and mobile data cost £43 ($52.20) monthly; new Vodafone Together plans begin at £31 ($37.70) per month for a combined 18-month SIM-only and home broadband plan, the CSP said.
Facebook says it has developed a 'technology solution' that enables fiber to be deployed along electrical grid infrastructure in a very cost-effective way and has licensed that solution for free to startup NetEquity Networks.
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.