Kabel Deutschland outlines investment plans

Kabel Deutschland plans to accelerate its two-way network upgrade and DOCSIS 3.0 rollout, and to ramp up its upgrade of its network to 862MHz as a result of the bringing forward of investment plans following the blocking of its planned merger with Tele Columbus.

The abandonment of the €600 million Tele Columbus purchase has freed up cash, allowing the operator to bring forward €300 million in investment plans over the next two years.

“We have a huge opportunity to accelerate our growth,” chief technology officer Lorenz Glatz told DTVE in an exclusive interview ahead of next week’s Cable Congress. Specifically, KDG will bring forward plans to upgrade its network to two-way capability. The operator’s two-way plant currently covers 87% of its network and it plans to take that up to 95%. It will also roll out DOCSIS 3.0 coverage, which currently stands about 70-80%, to 95% in parallel, giving it the ability to deliver up to 100Mbps internet speeds.

“Our strategy in the German market is to offer twice the bandwidth for the same price – this has worked very well for us,” says Glatz. He says the DOCSIS 3.0 rollout will not be taken beyond the planned 95% coverage, however, because there is little competition in the remaining remote areas and KDG can most efficiently satisfy demand with its 32Mbps service. The 100Mbps service, currently available in 81% of KDG’s fully upgraded homes, will be extended to about 90%.

Glatz says the operator also plans to accelerate its upgrade of its network to full 862MHz capability. The proportion of the network currently capable of 862MHz stands at 30% and KDG plans to increase this to 90%, giving it greater scope to roll out HD services an high-speed data to a much wider base. Other projects the operator is looking at include wireless networks. On the TV side, meanwhile, KDG will continue to build on its four-tuner DVR offering. “We will add some OTT services to that device this year and we’ll go for unified search across VOD and possibly YouTube,” he says.

The freed up cash from the blocking of the acquisition of Tele Columbus will, says Glatz, help KDG to “give our organic growth one massive boost”.

To read our full interview with Lorenz Glatz, click here.