PIKE Conference, Ossa. Poland’s cable industry, in which four operators account for 50% of the market and 500 the remainder, is “not a model for the future”, according to Cable Europe president Manuel Kohnstamm.
However, in the view of Jerzy Straszewski, the president of the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communication (PIKE), it also has the potential to raise its subscriber total from the current 4.6 million to 7.5 million.
Both observations were made in the opening remarks and first session of the PIKE conference, entitled Welcome to the Digital Home and marking the 20th anniversary of cable in Poland.
Kohnstamm nevertheless referred to fragmentation as the one weakness in the Polish cable and also pointed out that it compared favourably to its west European counterparts in one interesting respect.
While the main DSL competitor is 10 times bigger than cable in Germany and 20 times in France, it is only 4.1 times the size of cable in Poland.
However, cable in Europe as a whole is growing through the recession, with digital subscribers increasing by 33% in 2008.
Straszewski meanwhile added that five operators in Poland currently provide a PVR product to 100,000 subscribers and three VOD to 50,000, with the latter figure, in particular, growing very rapidly.
He also said that there are likely to be almost one million digital cable homes in Poland by the end of the year.
Straszewski added that it was important for cable operators to invest in its subscribers, especially those who currently opt for lifeline packages, to stop them from deserting to DTT.