German cable operator Unitymedia will deploy the 4K version of Horizon in Germany as part of the rollout of the new box throughout the European footprint of parent company Liberty Global, Unitymedia CEO Lutz Schüler told Broadband TV News.
Schüler didn’t give details on the timetable, but said that the box would have a similar software across all markets, making the introduction a lot quicker than it was the case with the previous Horizon version: “It won’t take 18 months this time.” The software features an open source RDK, enabling faster updates.
Horizon 4K will pave the way for Ultra HD channels on Unitymedia’s cable network. The first linear UHD channel will launch in 2018, said Schüler, but didn’t give further details.
In Q3 2017, Unitymedia reported a 5% growth in turnover compared with the same period last year. 68,000 new subscribers were added, most of them (41,000) for high-speed internet access.
High-speed internet is an important growth factor for Unitymedia, stressed Schüler, with 10% of the new internet customers in Q3 2017 opting for the 400Mbps premium product. 80% signed up for 120Mbps or more. 10 million of the 13 million households served by Unitymedia are able to access the 400Mbps service.
Schüler also pointed to Unitymedia’s GigaBuild initiative through which the cable company has been connecting 500,000 new households to its network since 2015, now being able to surf the net with 400Mbps.
“The customers come to us because of high-speed internet,” said Schüler. And they use it: With an average of 105GB per month, Unitymedia’s customers use up almost twice as much data volume than the average German internet user (60GB).
Following analogue switch-off and the reshuffling of the capacity on its network, Unitymedia is now ready for the DOCSIS 3.1 rollout. Bochum will become Germany’s first Gigabit city on April 1, 2018, said Schüler. 90% of the households will be able to sign up for 1Gbps internet access.
The DOCSIS 3.1 deployment will continue across Unitymedia’s footprint in 2018. The cable operator wants to enable its customers to use the 1Gbps service throughout their home as part of a Wi-Fi solution, said Schüler.