UPC gets ready to storm mobile market, hits 367.3k broadband subscribers

5 Aug 2015

UPC is gearing up to enter the mobile market in Ireland, its CFO said this morning (5 August), as the company reported service subscriptions increased by 7,300 in the second quarter to reach 1.1m, up 1pc year-on-year.

UPC announced an MVNO deal with Three Ireland last year and all indications are that its mobile market launch is imminent.

In particular, the move into mobile will free UPC of the constraints of being solely a fixed-line provider and heralds possibilities in the area of mobile broadband, data and cloud, as well as voice communications.

The move will once again up the ante against rival Eircom, which is currently the only provider in the market offering quad-play services incorporating mobile, fixed broadband, voice and TV.

“Looking ahead, we see a much greater opportunity for growth as we prepare to enter the mobile market, introduce more products and services, and open up new revenue possibilities through our continuous innovation in the market,” Carol Grennan, UPC’s chief financial officer, said.

UPC’s eyes are on the quad-play horizon

UPC reported 367,300 broadband subscribers, up 4pc on last year.

It reported it now has 352,400 phone customers, up 9pc, as well as 318,900 digital cable TV customers.

“Our second quarter results reflect continued demand for our broadband and home phone services,” Grennan said.

“Horizon TV now reaches 137,000 customers and is taken by 43pc of our digital cable TV base.”

Grennan said that business revenues were up 23pc in the second quarter, partly as a result of UPC’s recent acquisition of Bitbuzz. She said BitBuzz is winning business in the hotels sector across Ireland and the UK.

UPC’s parent company Liberty Global reported 3pc revenue growth, bringing revenues in the year to date to US$9.1bn.

“Strong demand for our triple and quad-play bundles continues to support our results, despite difficulties in the Netherlands, which continued to face competitive and integration challenges,” CEO Mike Fries said.

“We have taken measures to improve our results in that market and our H2 OCF growth should benefit from the positive impact of Ziggo synergies. Despite the headwinds in the Netherlands, we are confirming all of our 2015 guidance targets.”

Smartphone TV image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years