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Telenet unveils analogue switch off plan

Liberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet says it will switch off its analogue TV service between next autumn and the end of 2021, freeing up capacity for digital traffic.

The operator plans to launch a communication campaign from this December to inform customers about different alternatives available to them to continue to receive TV once the analogue signal is cut.

The company has adopted the tagline “Signal switch” in its communication material. Information will be communicated to customers via mailing, emails and a web site.

Telenet plans to cut its analogue radio service, also in phases, from February 10 next year.

The operators said that over 90% of its subscribers now took digital TV services, and it has not actively sold analogue TV for the past five years.

Telenet plans to provide direct access to digital services via TVs to enable remaining analogue viewers to continue to receive the channels the currently have access to, which it says is possible in most TVs sold for the last nine years. For older devices, viewers will be able to continue to view channels via a digital set-top, with the company offering one year’s free rent.

Telenet will kick of the programme with pilots in Beringen and Lochristi.

“When interactive digital television was introduced in Belgium in 2005, we we took an informed decision to keep the analogue signal for TV and radio as long as possible. Nearly 15 years after the introduction of digital TV, the time has come to make a Signal Switch and put an end to the analogue TV and radio signal from next year,” said Jeroen Bronselaer, head of marketing at Telenet.

“Cable has to advance with the times. We are conscious that the move to another TV signal will not be completely easy for certain customers. We have not taken this decision lightly and have conceived different solutions and alternatives to offer to our customers. We naturally want to honour our responsibilities and we have committed to help all customers to the maximum for this transition.”