Cable & IPTV

Liberty Global to move forwards with mobile plans

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries

Liberty Global’s plan to roll out a more advanced mobile product in many markets in Europe later this year will allow it to meet demand from a number of its customers for a single bundle from one provider, according to Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global.

“It’s really a complementary product to our core fixed products and allows us to satisfy certain of our consumers’ needs who want a bundled product…from one provider,” he told DTVE in a video interview at Cable Congress this week.

“We’ve had great success in Belgium and Chile [with mobile] and have a million mobile customers today and Virgin Media has three million mobile customers. Together we’ve got a strong experience base to inch our way into the mobile business cost-effectively and productively and give those consumers who want it a broader experience than us.”

Addressing questions about the rationale for Liberty Global’s acquisition of Virgin Media, Fries said there were both revenue and cost synergies between Liberty Global and Virgin Media, as both buy equipment and content from the same companies.

“We’re in the same business, so I think the synergies are potentially large, and the revenue synergies are large too because they can learn from us and we can learn from them,” said Fries. “We’re in the business of building scale and being more efficient with our balance sheet. There are lots of opportunities there. There are benefits of being bigger, including dealing with regulators,” he said.

He said Liberty Global could benefit from Virgin Media’s experience in business-to-business services and from its wireless experience.