Belgacom TV reaches 506k subs in 2008


Belgian telco Belgacom has reported a successful 2008 for its IPTV service 'Belgacom TV', adding 201,000 subscribers in the 12-month period to reach 506,000 by the end of the year.

Growth is described as having peaked in the fourth quarter of the year thanks to year-end promotions, with the telco adding 63,000 IPTV subscribers in the three-month period, and by the end of 2008, the company had a 30% share of the Belgian digital TV market.
The footprint of Belgacom TV has also been increased "significantly" since launch of the service in June 2005, and now reaches over 86% of Belgian households, with more than 64% of Belgian homes being able to receive high-definition services.

Despite the year-end promotions impacting Belgacom TV's ARPU in the fourth quarter of 2008, overall TV ARPU continued its positive ascent and rose 7% to reach EUR 17.2 for 2008, compared to EUR 16.1 in 2007, with an important driver of this continued improvement named as the success of on-demand services.

The total CAPEX for TV amounted to EUR 85mn for 2008, with Belgium's favourable topology and high population density allowing investments to be "limited to very reasonable levels", according to the company. Belgacom's VDSL2 rollout continues apace, with the telco's population coverage of VDSL reaching 66.2% by the end of 2008, and the company added that it aims to increase this figure to 80% (within an unspecified timeframe).
Belgacom's VDSL2 network offers customers connections of up to 20 Mbps, allowing subscribers to watch two high-definition broadcast channels simultaneously and surf on the Internet at the same time. As capacity has been raised, take-up of second TV connections has increased "significantly" to 65,000 customers.

Revenues for Belgacom TV reached EUR 86mn in 2008, up 99.5% from the EUR 43mn achieved in 2007.