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Germany and Switzerland go all-IP in 2020

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-05-15

The Western Europe region recorded a 2.7% YoY decline in total fixed telephony channels to around 180m as of end-2019. The said contraction was still due to the negative impact of fixed-to-mobile substitution coupled by the growing adoption of OTT voice and messaging services, in general. However, InfoCom noted some marginal year-on-year improvements in fixed voice development particularly in Cyprus, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom – driven mainly by the active IP migration of some major operators. For instance, in Cyprus, the 3.8% increase in 4Q19 was mainly due to the transition of its incumbent’s (Cyta) subscribers to VoIP and Cablenet’s decision to provide fixed voice service as part of a product bundle only. Swisscom also completed its IP migration last March 2020, while Deutsche Telekom in Germany announced that it will complete its IP migration before the end of 2020. As of 4Q19, VoIP channels in Germany and Switzerland already constitute around 93% and 99% respectively of the total fixed voice channels.

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Published: 2020-05-15





IPTV gains traction in key East Asian markets

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-05-04

IP television in the monitored Asian countries (China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) continued to gain traction in 2019 driven mainly by the increasing popularity of bundled offers, government regulation, and fibre broadband network expansion as per InfoCom's Quarterly Television for the Rest of World* region. In South Korea and Japan, the increasing popularity of bundled TV offers that sometimes include access to multi-platform OTT SVoD services and new features (e.g. time shifted viewing which allows customers to record live broadcasting upon viewing) continued to benefit the segment. South Korea's IPTV subscriptions reached nearly 15.9m (+10% YoY), while Japan tallied around 4.8m (+2%). In addition to the increasing take-up of bundled offers, government regulation also played a key role in IPTV development such as in Taiwan where the segment continued to benefit from tighter regulations on cable TV services (e.g. CaTV subscriptions must not exceed 1/3 of the total TV subscriptions). IPTV subscriptions in Taiwan already reached more than 2.1m (+3.7% YoY), while CaTV dwindled by 2% to less than 5m in 2019. Finally, the expansion of fibre broadband networks also pivoted IPTV take-up in the region, especially in China, where the government has claimed to cover nearly most of rural and urban areas with fibre networks. The country registered more than 114m IPTV subscriptions, representing a significant growth of nearly 8%.

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Published: 2020-05-04





Some Eastern European telcos push for high-speed broadband services as social measures against COVID-19 take effect

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-05-01

Some fixed broadband providers in Eastern Europe managed to sustain subscriber growth amidst the social measures against COVID-19 towards the end of 1Q20. In line with the implementation of new social arrangements in most markets (e.g. distance working, online learning), some operators actively pushed for their high-speed broadband services through discount offers. For instance, Orange Polska offered a PLN 5 discount on the monthly fees of its fibre-based plans, Love (quad-play), and triple-play Internet + TV + direct line services. These offers highlight up to 1 Gbit/s download speeds and targets customers still subscribing to its ADSL-services. InfoCom noted that the operator already ceased offering add-on services previously available to customers of ADSL – a move to gradually push its customers towards other tariffs (e.g. VDSL, FTTH). Meanwhile, Digi Romania started to offer a 50% discount to its existing customers who wish to subscribe to higher-end packages.

As partly driven by these schemes, both operators saw significant growths in their FTTP subscriptions (Orange Polska: 41% YoY, DIGI Romania: 13% YoY) – thus pushing up the total fixed broadband subscribers in their respective markets by ~4.5% YoY (Poland: 5.2% YoY, Romania: 3.6% YoY). Poland and Romania are part of InfoCom's Quarterly Fixed Broadband report on Eastern Europe, with 6.4m and 4.9m subscribers, respectively. As per the monitoring, there were more than 56m fixed broadband subscribers in the region – 66.3% of which are via FTTP typology (largely contributed by Russia).

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Published: 2020-05-01





American telcos see opportunity from online learning as COVID-19 extends school closures

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-05-01

As stay-at-home protocols in light of the COVID-19 outbreak alter the lifestyles of most American households, InfoCom observed an increase in promotions to targeted fixed broadband offers (e.g. K-12, college students) considering the increasing shift towards online learning. In particular, Mediacom adjusted its low-cost "C2C (Connect2Compete)" Internet option exclusive for households with at least one K-12 student resident by increasing the speeds to 25 Mbit/s and offering it for free on the first three months, then USD 9.95/month (free installation and modem). Spectrum likewise launched its "Remote Education Credit" scheme that targets households with a Pre-K to 12, college, or teacher resident with up to 60-day credit line on its WiFi or high-speed Internet services (up to 100 Mbit/s). Similarly, Altice came out with its "Altice Advantage 30 Mbit/s" broadband solution dedicated to households with the same customer profile, while Comcast upgraded its triple-play Xfinity offer by introducing "Xfinity Education Destination" that contains several educational collections.

Partly in light of these schemes, InfoCom observed a 4.4% YoY growth in the US's total fixed broadband subscriptions in 1Q20, with both Spectrum and Comcast recording the highest growth rates at around 6% YoY and 5% YoY, respectively. Indeed, despite the economic repercussions of COVID-19, telcos managed to see opportunity from the requirements of online learning, especially that the pandemic may continue to extend school and university closures for several weeks further.

The US is part of InfoCom's Rest of World* Quarterly Fixed Broadband report wherein the country's subscriptions comprise around 16% of the regional total connections. As per the said report, there were nearly 685m total fixed broadband subscriptions in the RoW region as of end-1Q20.

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Published: 2020-05-01





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