Monday, December 04, 2006

REBALANCING://Coming to mobile and cable markets

Multikabel plans to raise rates in a smart way. Politicians are all over it.
Owners Warburg and Cinven plan to merge Multikabel with Casema and Kabelcom to form the Dutch #2 MSO after UPC.

At first sight, the price rise is modest: the basic offering rises by 30 cents (2%) to 15.75 EUR/mo. Compare that to Comcast, which is preparing traditional price rises of up to 6% (at much higher levels too). However, Multikabel takes out the digital channels, for which subs now need to pay a separate fee of 1.95 EUR/mo. This adds up to a 15% rise!

One way to look at it is to say this is a way of rebalancing tariffs. PTTs moved to lower per-minute charges, only to raise subscriptions. And recently Hutch launched the X-Series, pursuading subs to take on an extra fee in exchange for 'unlimited' VoIP calls (and lots more).

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