UPC Ireland plans to formally become a mobile communications provider by late 2015.
The company has long harboured plans to expand its digital TV/broadband/telephone offering to include mobile services.
Earlier this year, the company signed a deal with Three, allowing it to offer services via the latter’s network.
Speaking yesterday, on the back of a strong set of third-quarter figures, UPC Ireland chief executive Magnus Ternsjo said the company will conduct product/service tests during the latter part of the first quarter of 2015, with a view to launching an official full-blown service towards the end of next year.
UPC said it had 522,100 total customers as of the end of September. This figure was down by 2.35% on a year-on-year basis, mainly due to ‘multichannel multipoint distribution service’-users — basically, those houses who get their television connections via aerial — not being able to avail of bundled offerings from UPC and having to go to alternative providers due to licensing arrangements.
Total subscribers, however, topped the 1.1m mark (one customer with broadband, television, and telephone counts as three subscriptions), with 13,600 new subscribers to the company’s three-way bundle offering noted in the quarter.
The total subscriber figure marks a near 6% increase on the same quarter last year.
“Our investment in excess of €1bn has brought our network to over 850,000 premises in 20 main cities and towns nationwide.
Half of all Irish homes can receive UPC’s 200Mbps broadband speed and businesses including SMEs are being offered tailor made speeds of up to 500Mbps and additional valuable business products to address their needs,” said chief financial officer Carol Grennan.
“We continue to focus on innovative new services where we are providing the best overall experience and value for our entire customer base, including our Horizon TV service, which recently passed 100,000 subscriptions.”
UPC’s US parent, Liberty Global, meanwhile, reported record third-quarter subscriber growth of 344,000 and noted a 5% year-on-year increase in revenue to $4.5bn (€3.6bn). Operating profit for the quarter was up by 35% year-on-year at $704m, with turnover for the first nine months of this year ahead by 31% at $2bn.
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