By Chris Dziadul
March 29, 2012 08.21 Europe/London
It goes without saying that Poland is a hugely important market for Liberty Global.
That is why it will probably be the first in the CEE region to receive Horizon once it has been rolled out in WE, starting with the Netherlands and Switzerland, later this year.
Speaking to Broadband TV News in Warsaw earlier this week, UPC Polska CEO Simon Boyd said that Horizon is being trialled in Poland this year ahead of an expected launch in 2013. He also said there would definitely be a market for the product, which will have been developed still further by the time it reaches the country.
While he conceded that demand would depend on its pricing and position, and that some subscribers would be happy to continue receiving the operator’s existing services, Liberty Global head Mike Fries has already gone on record as saying that Horizon will be an affordable product. Given the success that such advanced services as HD and VOD are already enjoying in Poland, the prospects for Horizon, certainly in the view of Broadband TV News, look distinctly positive.
When asked about other aspects of UPC Polska’s strategy, Simon Boyd revealed that the company has previously looked at a numerous opportunities to buy other operators but disregarded them as they didn’t make sense.
One that certainly did was Aster, which UPC Polska finally acquired last autumn after a long investigation by the competition authority (UOKiK). Most if not all this year will now be spent integrating Aster into its business, while at the same time UPC Polska is prepared to look at Multimedia Polska if it does indeed come on the market.
Simon Boyd sees Poland as a market in which competition can only intensify in the future, wiith Zygmunt Solorz-Zak having strengthened his position through the recent acquisitions of the telco Polkomtel and video portal ipla.
UPC Polska clearly faces challenges ahead but will continue to invest for growth and be in a good position to move forward.
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