(Brussels, 12 March) Cable Europe, the trade association representing the European cable industry, today awarded UPC Hungary and Liberty Global’s Stephen Kelly with awards for innovation and individual achievement, respectively. Caroline Van Weede, Managing Director of Cable Europe, and Peter Percosan, Partner, Digital Strategy, presented the honours on the second day of Cable Congress taking place this week in Brussels.
UPC Hungary won the Cable Europe Innovation Award, voted on by delegates at Cable Congress, for bringing more than 20 TV apps to legacy set-top-boxes (STBs) in partnership with Metrological and ActiveVideo Networks and others such as YouTube. Bringing online content to pay-TV subscribers is a win-win for the online and pay-TV industries, but last summer, no one had been able to do it at scale without the purchase of costly set-top-boxes (STB). This has provided UPC Hungary with a powerful new service differentiator that is a world’s-first achievement for cable: the ability to offer an almost limitless source of online content to every subscriber, without the cost and time-to-market that rolling out new set-top boxes would have entailed.
In accepting the award, Severina Pascu, CEO of UPC Romania & Hungary, said: “This idea is truly innovative. It’s a beautiful way to bring together innovation and customer experience, and at the end of the day, this started from a real customer need – content anywhere, anytime, on any device.”
The Innovation Award celebrates special projects of cable companies that make a difference for customers and demonstrate opportunities for future growth. Other nominees in the category this year included OptimizAIR by Telenet and Celeno, an airtime management solution to enhance Telenet’s W-Fi Hotspot service and improve the end user experience. In addition, Spanish operator R was nominated for its cloud video engine allowing real-time generation of interactive channels and integrated VOD, catch-up and zapping.
Stephen Kelly, Communications Architect at Liberty Global, was honoured with the Cable Europe Fellow Award in recognition of his many contributions over 15 years in the industry. Kelly was instrumental in the launch of the hugely successful Virgin Media London Underground Wi-Fi solution, which was deployed in advance of the 2012 Olympics. Most recently, he defined Liberty Global’s Pan European Wi-Fi Architecture, which is being rolled out across its footprint. He has also been a key contributor to CableLabs’s development of industry-wide Wi-Fi specifications and standards.
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