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German cable prepares for battle

by David Mercer | Sep 08, 2007

We met today with Gerhard Bickmann, CFO of German cable operator, Kabel BW, who spoke at NDS's annual IBC press lunch. In a one-to-one discussion, Herr Bickman shared with us his views on digital TV and platform competition in Germany. In contrast to KDG, Germany's largest cable company, KBW is not planning to enforce a customer migration to digital TV, as it would lose too much money on subsidising or giving boxes away for free. Instead it is awaiting some clear decision from the German government that Germany should complete the switchover to digital by a certain date. This would make it clear to consumers that analogue switch-off was coming, and they would be more inclined to consider migrating to digital cable. Herr Bickmann's frustration with German policy-making was evident, given that other countries in Europe (Finland and Luxembourg) have made clear their intentions that all cable networks should become 100% digital. He seemed if anything, and perhaps surprisingly, less concerned with the threat of competition from Deutsche Telekom. DT's rollout of VDSL is not considered to be a major challenge as the availability of the highest speeds will be very limited. KBW is confident that it will trump DT's offer with universally available 100Mbps broadband once it begins to roll out Docsis 3.0 technology next year. Add to Technorati Favorites
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