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UK service providers will reap the benefits of consolidation and multiplay strategies in the coming years, with bundled subscriptions growing by 20 per cent, according to Strategy Analytics. From 2015 to 2020, Quad-play revenues will triple, while total multiplay market revenues grow by 34 per cent. Double-play subscriptions will peak in 2016 and begin to decline as customers move to triple and quad-play bundles. By 2020, quad-play will account for more than 21 per cent of bundled subscriptions in the UK.
The Strategy Analytics Service Provider Strategies (SPS) service report, UK Multiplay Market Dynamics: Quad-play Ready to Triple Revenues, indicates that the converged services market in the UK is experiencing growth as operators have positioned for bundled service offerings. BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone are all competing to gain a foothold in the rapidly expanding opportunity.
“Multiplay bundled services are rapidly gaining ground in the UK as more players have entered this space through expansion and acquisition,” said Jason Blackwell, Director of the Service Provider Strategies service (SPS) at Strategy Analytics. He added, “BT’s acquisition of EE has positioned the company very well, enabling cross-selling of services and giving BT a strong network with fibre and 4G. Based on its strategies in the Netherlands and New Zealand, Vodafone may need to revisit the opportunities for partnerships in the UK.”
In terms of pricing, Blackwell noted that competition in the UK market was already intense, with Strategy Analytics expecting to see price discounts in the form of long term introductory offers and through multi-service purchase, as operators try to take customers from competitors. “However, the successful operators will avoid a race to the bottom, and hold overall pricing by upselling customers to faster broadband speeds, premium TV channels and larger mobile broadband buckets,” he suggested.
“Part of this upsell involves encouraging customers to move from double or triple play to quad and even five play bundles, as providers aim to keep customers close by providing a one-stop shop – and this is something we can expect to see much more of in the future,” added Josie Sephton, from Strategy Analytics’ Pricing and Benchmarking division, Teligen.