Rising demand for broadband services have driven European Union cable market revenues to a record high of €24 billion, up from €23.3 billion in 2017.
More than 50 per cent of the cable sector is held by either Vodafone or Liberty. The number one cable operator in Europe is now Vodafone, leaving it in a key position for fixed-mobile convergence.
While TV subscriptions are on the slide as customers turn to new OTT services, cable has been able to increase ARPU by €9 over ten years, driven by bundling of services.
“We’ve lost subscribers in TV, 300,000 less this year, but revenues are going driven by cable internet and digital TV,” explained Informa Tech’s Maria Rua Aguete that now runs the annual survey begun by Screen Digest 19 years ago. “The whole of Europe is converging. If you don’t have that you must do something because 5G is here, it’s not hype, but a reality.”
Measured in terms of subscriptions, RGUs for cable internet service amounted to 38 million in 2018, up from 37.1 million in 2017. This growth helped drive the increase in overall EU RGUs for the year.
The deployments of DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 are playing a major role in stimulating consumer demand. DOCSIS 3.1 in particular is delivering a major leap in data speeds, attracting increased interest among internet users.
Internet RGU growth outperformed the other services offered by cable providers in the region.
Spain, hit by the loss of sports rights has seen cable TV subscribers fall, with losses also prevalent in Switzerland and Sweden.
Belgium, Switzerland and Romania have also seen losses in broadband subscriptions.
49 per cent of European online subscriptions are held by Netflix, and 20 per cent by Amazon.