Speaking at the launch of the IHS Cable Yearbook 2017 in Brussels December 11th, analyst Ted Hall described broadband as the cable industry’s “star performer”. As the consolidated full year 2016 European data was presented, Hall highlighted cable’s deployment of next-generation access as setting the industry apart in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace.
This latest Yearbook from IHS Markit shows a cable sector in the European Union displaying resiliency and steady growth in 2016, with revenues increasing 4 per cent from the prior year, to €23.5 billion. Reflecting trends in consumer behaviour, Internet revenue continues to rise, now close to 34 per cent of European cable operator revenue.
The number of cable homes in the EU continued to climb steadily, reaching 65.1 million — or 30.5 per cent of total TV households — at the end of 2016. According to IHS, the figures illustrate that the marrying of content and ubiquitous access remains a key strategic focus for cable operators, who demonstrate their broadband credentials by connecting more and more customers to DOCSIS 3.0 networks and now to the emerging DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and its gigabit speeds.
The figures show DOCSIS 3.0 already driving take-up of superfast broadband connections, with cable illustrating its key role in meeting and comfortably exceeding the European Commission’s Digital Agenda broadband targets.
“We have a policy context at the moment that could result in a new legal framework loaded with regulatory uncertainty,” warned Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman of Cable Europe. “This will in turn have a knock-on effect on investment in infrastructure. The IHS Market data proves beyond doubt that investment in competing infrastructures results in higher speeds, which fosters product innovation, which encourages consumer take-up. It’s a virtuous circle.”
“Today is an affirmation that customers continue to be attracted by innovative and high-quality products. Cable shows its resilience in growing steadily in an increasingly competitive marketplace. A level regulatory playing field with global Internet players and a cross section of technologies fuelled by willing private investors will take us to the gigabit level which is within our reach.”