Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FastWeb Reemphasizing IPTV

FastWeb, the Swisscom competitive telecom subsidiary in Italy, put renewed emphasis on its IPTV offering in its 3Q07 presentation. In September it reduced from 15 to 6 residential offerings. These packages bring its pricing in line with or below Telecom Italia. With this new offering, 88 percent of its new subscribers added in 3Q07 were signed in September. It stated that October is continuing strongly.

FastWeb believes that their are clear opportunities for IPTV in Italy because there is no cable there and limited satellite and digital terrestrial penetration. The company expects that IPTV will become the single most important differentiating factor in the fixed market.

FastWeb points to its seven years experience offering IPTV services as a significant advantage. It believes that has the best prices in Italy. It found that the take up of IPTV increased in September to 25 percent vs. 20 percent average in the previous 12 months.

FastWeb added 56 thousand broadband subscribers in 3Q07, giving it a total of 1.251 million. It stated that 82 percent of these were residential subscribers. It stated that it experienced significant pressure from a Telecom Italia win back campaign.

I estimate that it added 10 thousand IPTV subscribers in 3Q07. This rate should increase significantly based on the emphasis that it is now putting on IPTV.

This is a significant change for FastWeb. It has been emphasizing its enterprise business in its presentations for the last couple of years. It had just completed a national fiber network that enabled it to compete in the enterprise market.

It looks like Telecom Italia has become very competitive on the broadband market and caused FastWeb to go back and put new focus on the market that established it in the first place.

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