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UPC future-proofs online service to avoid getting stuck in the past

IT'S been a busy few weeks for UPC. Whether the company has been working on its new broadband packages for customers or working on the next wave of programming to hit its On Demand facility, it's safe to say that the staff there have been kept busy.

For the firm's sales and marketing director Mark Coan, the improvements in broadband in particular have been keeping him going.

Last week the company demonstrated a download speed of 1.4Gigabits per second, and upped its standard download speeds to 50MB from 25. What is the significance of this? Mr Coan takes up the story.

"The demonstration was huge because it proved to the public the kind of speeds that are possible on our improved network. To give you an idea of how fast 1.4Gb is, the movie that can take hours to download on some service providers would take seconds at that speed.

"Now, does the average person need that kind of speed at the moment, and would they be prepared to pay for it? Probably not. But given the way online consumption is moving, it will be needed in the future.

Only five years ago, most houses had one device linked to the internet. That was usually the big desktop computer in the corner.

Now with smartphones and tablets, that number has increased greatly. On average now there are three wired devices in each house and that number will only increase.

"By upgrading our network we now have the capacity to go even further than we would before, and it is future-proofed in a way that allows us to increase download speeds as the customers' needs evolve," he says.

Pepsi and Walkers have 'X Factor'

PEPSI MAX and Walkers Extra Crunchy have announced a new deal with Syco and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) for a partnership with 'The X Factor'.

The show recently returned for its ninth series on TV3. This deal will be supported by a through-the-line campaign including in-store, digital and a unique on-pack promotion, which will give fans, from the end of September, the chance to win 'money can't buy' tickets every hour to the show's live final at Manchester Central.

PepsiCo's partnership of 'The X Factor Live Final' in the UK and Ireland follows the success of the headline partnership with the inaugural The X Factor USA last year.

Skoda revs up its loyalty scheme

SKODA has launched its "My SKODA" loyalty programme to offer car owners the chance to be part of what it calls "a very exclusive club".

The programme is said to offer Skoda drivers a wide range of benefits, including free vehicle health checks and discounts on vehicle services at their local retailer.

It also provides them with access to exclusive dining, travel, and shopping offers, designed to deliver an even more rewarding experience to customers.

Perhaps most importantly, the card will allow drivers to earn points with each service at their Skoda retailer. The points are then redeemable against the purchase of a new car.

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