Research results presented at 51st European Cable Congress

Research results presented at 51st European Cable Congress · Healthy new growth and investments by cable’s Triple Play · Cable is main infrastructure-based competition of incumbent phone companies · Broadband penetration; up to 3 times higher in countries with strong cable · Broadband internet and VoIP telephony continue to drive growth · Consolidation will continue to be vital BUDAPEST, -- March 22, 2005 – After years of investment and restructuring cable is firmly back in the mainstream of infrastructure development, driving competition and growth throughout Europe. Where cable operators roll out triple play services broadband Internet penetration is up to 3 times higher, and telephone service is cheaper. Broadband Internet and telephony services will continue to be the major growth drivers for the European cable business. The roll out of digital television services and Video On Demand is increasing the attractiveness of the cable’s triple play offer, though the industry faces increased competition as incumbent phone companies and digital terrestrial networks are also offering digital television services. Consolidation of the European cable sector will continue in 2005 and beyond, and remains a necessary process in order to provide the scale needed for sustainable business performance in order for the industry to provide the widest range of services at the highest quality to European consumers. These are the main conclusions of an OVUM study presented at the 51st Annual Congress of the European Cable Communications Association (ECCA), taking place in Budapest from 21-23 March 2005. OVUM, the analyst and consulting company, is the largest European-headquartered advisor on telecoms, software and IT services. More than 400 delegates attend the ECCA Congress, a 25% increase on 2004 edition, including senior business executives and government officials in telecommunication and media from around Europe. Malcolm Harbour, Member of the European Parliament opened the ECCA Congress. Cable drives growth of broadband Internet At today’s ECCA press conference Kalman Kovacs, Hungary’s Minister of Informatics and Communications, stated: “Throughout Europe and certainly also in the new EU Member States we see a major acceleration of broadband deployment through the investments in cable networks. It drives a new phase of healthy competition and growth in our economies.” Conclusions of the CEO Summit The renewed spirit of cable operators clearly showed from the presentations of the CEO’s of Europe’s main cable operators. Their main conclusions are: · As illustrated by the theme of the ECCA Congress “Competing for the Customer” the number one priority for operators in the years to come will be how to best serve their customers. Cable has reached a new level of maturity as a client oriented industry, and looks forward to challenges ahead. · Europe’s cable networks remain the main infrastructure based competition to the incumbent phone companies, and the sector will keep investing strongly in a strong and future proof cable infrastructure. · As a triple play business, cable has a unique potential to distribute TV and audiovisual services. More than anything else it is high quality programmes that attracts customers. In the years to come, cable operators will focus strongly on providing attractive and innovative content to their customers, as they face increased competition for their digital television services offered via other technologies. Bernard Cottin re-elected President of ECCA The ECCA General Assembly re-elected Bernard Cottin, CEO Numéricâble, as President, and Manuel Cubero, Vice President Kabel Deutschland, as Vice President of the Association. Looking forward to another exciting year in the association, Bernard Cottin stated that: “As the environment in which we operate becomes ever more competitive, it becomes ever more important for the industry to be represented by a strong organisation such as this one. ECCA will continue to defend cable interest in Brussels, and promote cable ‘s image throughout Europe.” Awards for Jude Blake, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Consumer Markets, Cablecom, GmbH and Sudhir Ispahani, CTO UGC Kalman Kovacs, Hungarian Minister of Informatics and Communications will present an award to Jude Blake, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Consumer Markets, Cablecom, GmbH and Sudhir Ispahani, CTO UGC Europe at the gala dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in the evening of March 22. ECCA awards are presented to a few individuals. Sudhir Ispahani will be rewarded for his contribution to the setting up of EuroCableLabs. EuroCableLabs is the European centre of excellence for broadband cable technologies and represents European cable MSOs on technical matters. Jude Blake will be honoured for her commitment to the establishment of CTAM Europe. CTAM Europe is dedicated to the discipline and development of consumer marketing excellence in cable television, new media and telecommunications services. Both of these groups have done much to strengthen the cable industry and to help cable operators better serve their customers. _________________________________________________________________________________ Note for the editor: ECCA Created in 1955 with a first conference in Brussels, the European Cable Communications Association (ECCA) groups European cable operators, as well as their national associations. The main goal of the Association is to foster co-operation between cable operators/associations and to promote and represent their interests at European and international level. ECCA has 35 members and is headquartered in Brussels. Contact: Delphine Moralis Public Affairs Officer, ECCA +32/ (0)2 521 17 63 +32/(0) 485 63 64 31