Business Irish

Saturday 21 April 2018

UPC subscribers up by 11pc


John Mulligan

SUBSCRIBER numbers at TV, broadband and telephony provider UPC Ireland jumped 11pc year-on-year to nearly 827,000 during the last quarter as the company aggressively competed with rivals including Eircom.

Figures released by the company yesterday show that at the end of the second quarter in June, UPC had almost 225,000 broadband customers -- up 32pc on the corresponding period last year.

The number of subscribers to its telephony service rose 56pc to 121,200, while subscriptions to its digital TV service were 5pc higher at 384,600.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, UPC Ireland chief executive Dana Strong said she was pleased with the results, which she argued demonstrated that the company's €400m-plus investment in its network here was paying off.

By next month, 700,000 homes will be able to avail of UPC's 30-megabyte broadband, while 500,000 of them will be able to access 100mb speeds.

Asked whether UPC's lower growth in digital TV compared to its other segments was a result of competitive pressure from Sky, Ms Strong maintained that the company's second quarter traditionally experienced the year's highest level of churn and lower growth in TV subscriptions.

She added that the 5pc year-on-year growth in digital TV subscriptions for the period was one of the highest recorded by UPC in recent years during the second quarter.

Ms Strong, who took up the role as CEO at UPC Ireland at the beginning of the summer, declined to say whether there was any rationale for the company to contribute financially to the upgrade of Eircom's legacy copper network after spending €400m upgrading its own.

Eircom CEO Paul Donovan has previously suggested that other telecoms operators here could pitch in to redevelop the old network.

Ms Strong said it would be "very viable" for Eircom to upgrade a large portion of its network.

Eircom recently announced a spend of €100m to upgrade part of its network to deliver 100mb internet speeds and will offer a TV service to customers.

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