Liberty Global’s CEO Mike Fries has said the company is studying the opportunities around network infrastructure.
Fries was answering a question at the SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo Virtual Experience.
Asked what new things he found interesting, he responded by saying that in Europe the networks themselves might be the most valuable item the company owned. Fries pointed to passing trends for long haul fibre, data centres and tower companies.
“’It’s our network, it’s our customer base.’ But the issue in Europe is – maybe the network utilisation is better here in America – but in Europe our network utilisation with competition is declining so if we can find a way to combine networks the way the tower companies – many mobile companies have done that, too – there might be interesting opportunities for us in Europe to take networks to the next level more quickly, more efficiently and do that with capital partners, strategic partners, telco partners, whatever that might be.
In recent years, Liberty Global has preferred to partner with other telecommunications companies, rather than go it entirely alone. In the Netherlands it has teamed with Vodafone Ziggo, while in the UK a proposed deal with O2 to merge its UK operations with Virgin Media is currently before regulators.
Liberty Fibre Ltd has also been established in the UK with the potential to go head to head with BT in the build of a national fibre network.