(Brussels, 8 March 2017): Opening Cable Congress 2017, Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, told delegates that “our industry is building the infrastructure of our age.” The theme was echoed as other operators, content providers and industry observers took the stage throughout the first morning.
The challenge of digitisation, the rise of over-the-top (OTT) services and the expected arrival of 5G have all prompted an unprecedented level of innovation and investment from the cable industry, and it is over cable that new services, richer experiences and the future of connected entertainment will be delivered.
Barry Cupples, Global CEO Investment at Omnicom, gave an insight into the opportunities ahead, but cautioned against taking a conservative approach: “The brand graveyard is full of brands that have failed to fight the fight. They have hedged and missed the really huge business opportunities.” And he flagged the potential to work with advertisers as they seek additional data: “all of the growth in the ad market is digital. Agencies and advertisers will be wanting more from you. Data and insight integration will be crucial. We need your help to move from the guess economy to the evidence economy.”
Cable CEOs agree that the digital revolution is a source of revenue growth for the industry. Com Hem CEO Anders Nilsson said “more and better OTT content means more satisfied customers, and a larger number of broadband subscribers for the cable industry.” The ability for the cable industry to empower high capacity networks, with a large footprint and usable interface makes it the obvious consumer choice. Manuel Cubero, CEO Kabel Deutschland and CCO Vodafone Germany, said that industry consolidation had been a contributing factor: “scale has been positive for everybody, especially customers.”
A panel of CTOs discussed the ways in which new technology will enable services to be delivered. The adoption of DOCSIS 3.1 will allow gigabit speed broadband as standard, but Colin Büchner, Managing Director Access Network at Liberty Global, believes it offers even more in “reliability, better customer experience, efficiency. It is not just about higher top speeds – consumption increases mean a 30-40% capacity increase is required each year. With DOCSIS 3.1 we can double the bandwidth on the same spectrum.” It is these advantages that mean 5G cannot replace fixed broadband, believes Luc Noiseaux, CTO at Cogeco: “the volume of data over fixed broadband makes this difficult. Both will have their role.”
Cable Congress 2017 is taking place in Brussels from Wednesday 8 March until Thursday 9 March. Please visit www.cablecongress.com for the latest updates, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow the conversation live using #cablecongress.
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About Cable Europe
Cable Europe is the trade association that connects leading broadband cable TV operators and their national trade associations throughout the European Union. The regulatory and public policy activities of Cable Europe aim to promote and defend the industry’s policies and business interests at European and international level. The European cable industry provides high speed broadband internet, TV services, and telephony into the home of more than 63 million homes in the European Union.