The small Dutch cable operator Kabel Noord will introduce CI Plus early next year. The cabler will sell dedicated CI Plus CAMs through retail at €70 a piece.
The move follows a quick take-up of the CI Plus standard by Dutch cablers with Ziggo, the country’s largest system, earlier this year claiming to be the first operator in the world to introduce CI Plus. At the moment, Ziggo serves about 1.1 million digital homes. Later this year, CAIW also introduced CI Plus.
The other cable networks, including Delta Kabelcomfort in the province of Zeeland, and a number of smaller independent operators, are believed top follow suit creating a de facto national standard amongst the cablers that use the retail model for their set tops and integrated TV sets.
Just recently, UPC, the country’s second largest operator, hinted that it might decide on introducing CI Plus sometime during 2010. UPC is the only operator that leases its set-tops to consumers. The introduction of CI Plus would open up the market for third-party cable tuners.
Kabel Noord serves around 25,000 customers in the northeastern areas of Friesland, The Netherlands.