Industry Trend Analysis - Convergence Underpins Swiss Deals - APR 2018
BMI View: Salt's belated move into converged services, through content and infrastructure partnerships improves prospects for consumer choice and will encourage greater investment in advanced services by other players. However, Salt's reach remains limited relative to its two main rivals and a prospective UPC-Sunrise merger would keep it firmly in check.
Switzerland's third-largest mobile operator has announced a comprehensive suite of partnerships aimed at catapulting it into the front line of the country's multi-play services market. The company's Fibre Box will support broadband access speeds of up to 10Gbps and will be powered by the Apple TV 4K set-top-box. Premium content will be supplied by partners such as Sky and Canal Plus, as well as Apple, while advanced applications will be sourced from players such as Zattoo. Connectivity will be delivered via fibre leased from Swiss Fibre Network (SFN), a fibre backbone with a 30-city footprint that is owned and operated by a group of Swiss power companies.
Earlier in March 2018, Sky announced plans to embark on a new phase of European expansion, beginning in Switzerland ( see 'Streaming Key To Sky Expansion', March 5 2018). We took the view that the Swiss market would be difficult for Sky to penetrate as a standalone offering, owing to the entrenched position of cable and high-speed broadband amongst consumers of both linear and on-demand streaming video. That view still holds, although we believe Salt and Sky are now in a much stronger competitive position than was the situation prior to the new partnership. However, a putative merger between UPC and Sunrise Communications could still render the pricing of Salt's Fibre Box product unappealing.
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