Their Irish customer base has now reached 600,200 and is an important landmark for the group.
Liberty Global have been slowly merging NTL and Chorus into one service since they acquired the former earlier this year; it is expected that they will eventually create a unified structure under the ‘UPC’ brand name.
The group has recently announced a move into the triple-play market, where it will offer digital TV, high speed broadband and VoIP phone as part of a single package. It has also make its intentions clear to move towards PVR, HD and interactive.
Despite being the biggest player in the Irish market it still falls short on many of the services offered by its biggest rival, Sky. At present Sky Digital offers interactive as standard and allows viewers to upgrade to HD and PVR capabilities if they wish. Sky is also moving into the broadband market in the UK and has suggested it may do the same in Ireland next year.
UPC faces some potentially rough waters in the coming year as it tries to bring its technology up to pace and re-brand itself at the same time. The past few years have seen TV technology move at lightening pace and the catastrophic demise of NTL Ireland meant its customers got left behind in many ways.
UPC, Sky and other players like Magnet will want to position themselves very carefully over the next two years in preperation for DTT; once subscription-free multi-channel TV comes onto the market things are going to get even harder for them all.