This week, Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries released the Consumer Experience Report, which outlines the need to ensure that consumers receive value for money and a good quality of service from their communications providers. Steve McCaffery, Senior Vice-President of EMEA for ARRIS, made the following comments:
“The Ofcom statistics clearly illustrate the quickly accelerating trend towards consumption across multiple devices. The growth of Netflix in the UK (a massive 61 per cent growth within the last year) shows more than ever that the days of the ‘traditional’ programming schedule are numbered.
Consumers now expect to consume content at a time and device of their choosing. This is further evidenced by Ofcom reporting that household take-up of tablet computers having more than doubled over the past year, and with BBC iPlayer and 4oD use also shifting towards mobile devices tablets, smartphones and video-on-demand set-top devices. Multichannel TV bundles, along with triple-play fixed line and broadband, continued their increase in 2013 up by 3% from 2012, and this will only continue to grow, with 4K/ultra HD video content being introduced this year, and even 8K already making waves.
Ofcom further reports that a fifth of consumers switched at least one communications service between Q3 2012 and Q3 2013 – with the desire for ‘faster speeds’ being a key driver among fixed broadband switchers (15%), and the ‘choice of channels’ for TV switchers (18%). Clearly, service providers – whether cable, broadband or telecoms – need to ensure their networks are flexible enough to future proof against increasingly bandwidth-heavy content and services, without having to overhaul their network infrastructure. Ultimately, this will ensure consumers receive the quality of service and range of content they are expecting from providers at the prices they demand, but also that providers have sustainable, profitable business models with which to deliver compelling and sticky service offerings.”
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