VodafoneZiggo to launch advanced TV platform, 5G amid mixed results

VodafoneZiggo, the Liberty Global-Vodafone joint venture for the Dutch market, is to launch a new advanced TV patorm and trial 5G mobile next year, according to CEO Jeroen Hoencamp.

The new TV offering will include 4K UHD capability and will involve the deployment of Liberty’s new advanced set-top box during the first quarter.

Hoencamp said that the company expected “to maintain good commercial and financial momentum in 2019” with operating cash-flow growth of between 1% and 3%. However, the JV’s upgrading of its network to offer Gigabit broadband and the closure of its analogue TV means that it is expected to incur some additional costs next year.

VodafoneZiggo ended the year “on a positive note” according to Hoencamp, passing the milestone of one million converged households as its strategy of selling multiple fixed and mobile products to subscribers gained traction.

VodafoneZiggo ended the year by adding 59,000 new converged households and 88,000 converged mobile SIMs in the fourth quarter. In total, the operator added 183,000 converged households and 294,000 converged SIMs over the course of the year.

In fixed, VodafoneZiggo, saw cable revenue decline by 1.5% over the course of the year. In Q4 the company was hit by the impact of a price hike earlier in the year as well as by convergence discounts and dips in phone and VOD usage.

Internet and enhanced video revenue-generating units fell by 2,000 and 9,000 respectively in Q4, blamed on increased competition.

VodafoneZiggo added 110,000 Mediabox XL customers over the year, bringing total penetration of its video base to 42%. The operator’s Ziggo Go multiscreen service had 1.5 million active users at the end of the year.

In mobile, VodafoneZiggo posted flat revenues, with customer growth offset by a dip in handset sales.

B2B revenue fell by 5% for the year, but stablished in Q41 with fixed revenue growth offsetting a decline in mobile.

The operator posted revenues of €993 million in Q4, flat year-on-year, with full-year revenues declining by 2% to €3.9 billion thanks to regulatory issues in the mobile market. Operating income for Q4 was €36 million, up on the previous year, but full year operating income declined from €193 million to €111 million.