Virgin Media’s acting chief executive officer has said the company would look to upgrade all of the company’s broadband subscribers to the next tier. In the next few months existing 4 Mbps subscribers will be upgraded to 10 Mbps at no extra cost.
Neil Berkett told the Broadcasting Press Guild that by 2009 it might then be possible to take the existing and planned tiers of 2, 20, 20 and 50 Mbps “up a notch.”
Broadband is key to Virgin Media’s growth strategy, offering speeds higher than DSL competitors, having returned the emphasis to the pipe rather than premium entertainment. Virgin is instead concentrating on the mid-market and a growing on demand offer.
Berkett said quad-play remained critical to the operator’s ambitions, and he expected to see an on demand, broadband led offer pull away from the DSL offer of the telcos. This will be achieved through the introduction of the much-touted 50 Mbps broadband service that would be available to 70% of the network by the end of the year 95% during 2009.
Alongside the advertised speeds are the actual speeds, which suffer in peaktimes, when usage for the network is understandably at its highest. “95% of customers will get at least 70% of the headline speed at peak time,” he promised, adding that his DSL competitors would be hard pushed to provide 35% of the headline rates.
Data consumption has grown at 50% per year. Three years ago the average Virgin Media subscriber was consuming 20 Kbps now that average user is consuming 43 Kbps.
Premium Subscribers: Virgin Media targeting mid range customers