Mobile: different cable perspectives

March 13, 2014 08.08 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, Cable Congress 2014

Andrew BarronNot offering mobile does not make a cable operator a “bad company”, according to Andrew Barron, executive chairman, Com Hem.

Speaking in a panel discussion, he said that the Swedish operator felt no need to add such a service to its offer, at least at that moment.

This contrasted sharply with the view taken by Spain’s ONO. Indeed, it CEO Rosalia Portela said that the Spanish market has developed “very fast in the last year into a convergent market” and that mobile is now a “must” for any operator.

ONO has learned many things, some of which are very positive. She added that in Spain the differentiating factor is much more in fixed than mobile.

In the mobile space, ONO has gained over 1.2 million customers in less than two years and there is now a new kind of triple play offer, namely fixed voice, fixed line and fixed mobile.

Barron meanwhile added that mobile and convergence is important to all operators.

However, running a mobile business as a cable operator is very different to doing so as a mobile operator.

Diederik Karsten, EVP European Broadband Operations Liberty Global, said that it is hard to name a market in Europe where cable operators will be able to compete without a mobile product.

Ronny Verhelst, CEO, TeleColumbus, meanwhile spoke about the advantages the German operator, which is located in the eastern part of the country, has in being able to invest in the latest (FTTB) technology.