Speaking in an investor’s call following the announcement of Liberty’s latest set of results, he added that it had already introduced a 200 Mbps product in the Netherlands that now passes 25% of homes and that a 500 Mbps field trial was under way.
Commenting specifically on the Netherlands, Fries said that it had added 24 new apps, including Facebook and Twitter, to Horizon in Q1 and that “we’ll launch faster navigation, a new menu structure and a new remote this summer.”
Fries said that investing in Ziggo was a market driven decision and that the company is investing and strengthening its position in the country.
He also spoke at some length about KPN, which has taken an “aggressive approach to subscriber growth despite EBITDA”.
Indeed, the telco’s EBITDA was down another 20% in the residential market in the last quarter and Liberty has found itself “treading water recently” on net adds.
However, KPN has since announced a price increase of 2.5% on most of its packages, effective July 1.
UPC’s customer base in the Netherlands fell by 32,700 in the last quarter to 1,699,100. This shows an accelerated loss, compared to the 30,400 defecting customers during Q4, 2012.
The loss of analogue viewers (44,000) was partly offset by growth in digital TV (+11,300). The penetration of analogue-only TV therefore decreased to 35.8% from 42.2%, while digital TV grew to 64.1% from 57.7% in the previous quarter. However, digital growth seems to slow down with a net addition of 51,000 during the past 12 months.
Around 145,000 Horizon boxes were placed with customers, with the 100,000 mark reached in February, with penetration at 55.9%.
Commenting on other matters, Fries referred to Liberty’s strategy of unencrypting basic packages as a “smart marketing move”.
He also said that Liberty detected no change in the German regulator’s view on consolidation.
However, he believed that it in time it would see its benefits.