Eircom to launch TV service in coming months

Thursday 28 February 2013 18.35
Herb Hribar said customers would find quad-play packages 'quite appealing'
Herb Hribar said customers would find quad-play packages 'quite appealing'

Eircom’s CEO has confirmed the company will launch a television service in the coming months.

Speaking at IBEC’s CEO conference, Herb Hribar said the company would be the first to offer fully-fledged ‘quad-play’ bundles, which would allow customers to receive telephone, broadband, mobile and television services from one provider.

Mr Hribar said the television offering was part of a wider strategy by the company, which will also see the launch of fibre broadband and a 4G mobile service.

He said the company spent €144m last year to acquire a 4G spectrum licence for its Meteor mobile division, while €400m has been earmarked for the rollout of fibre broadband to 1.2 million homes and businesses by June 2015.

The broadband and home phone market that Eircom once dominated has become increasingly competitive in recent years, particularly due to the expansion of services by companies formerly focused on television.

Two weeks ago UPC announced it had amassed more than 304,000 broadband subscribers, compared to Eircom’s 461,000.

Earlier this month Sky also announced that it would enter the ‘triple-play’ market in Ireland, offering its television customers broadband and home phone services.

With much of its competition now coming from television service providers which moved into its market, Eircom will hope to have similar success when it returns fire.

Mr Hribar said the move “demonstrates the point of just how much eircom has changed” in the past few years and said he believed a quad-play offering would be “quite appealing” to customers.

However this is not the first time that Eircom has shown an interest in television.

In 2007 it announced plans to trial IPTV services - or television over the telephone line - in Dublin’s Sandyford and Temple Bar.

The company was also a lead shareholder in the One Vision consortium for Ireland’s Digital Terrestrial Television licence in 2009.

It was placed second by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland but was later offered the licence after the winning bid withdrew. However the consortium ultimately failed to reach an agreement on the licence and the bid was abandoned.