UPC Cablecom

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UPC Cablecom Holdings GmbH[1]
Type Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1994
Headquarters Zürich, Switzerland
Area served Switzerland & Vorarlberg (Austria)
Key people Eric Tveter
(managing director)
Ivan Nash Vila
(CFO)
Products Analog Cable & Digital Cable (Cable Television, Cable Radio, Cable Internet, Cable Telephony)
Revenue 1.18 billion CHF (2012)[2]
Employees approx. 1,500 (2012)[2]
Parent Liberty Global Europe
UPC Switzerland Holding B.V.
Subsidiaries Cablecom Kabelkommunikation GmbH
Website upc-cablecom.ch

UPC Cablecom Holdings GmbH, trading exclusively under the brand name upc cablecom, is the largest broadband cable operator in Switzerland. Founded 1994 through multiple mergers between smaller companies, it is part of Liberty Global Europe's UPC Broadband division since the end of 2005.

Cablecom operates in Switzerland, including the cities of Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne, Lucerne and Winterthur, and Vorarlberg (Austria) serving 1.56 million cable television customers, as well as approximately 250 smaller broadband cable operators.

History[edit]

In the 1930s the first cable network operators started to broadcast a variety of radio channels to households via cable. One of these cable network operators was Rediffusion S.A., established in 1931, which disseminated radio programmes per wire broadcasting. At the end of the 1950s Rediffusion began to broadcast the first black/white television channels from the Üetliberg antenna tower in Zürich. In 1994 Rediffusion and other independent cable network companies merged to form Cablecom, owned by Siemens, VEBA and Swisscom.

Cablecom acquired the successful Internet service provider SwissOnline in 1998. Over the following years the cable network operator grew by acquiring various cable network companies including, for instance Balcab and Sitel. These takeovers allowed cablecom to extend its network throughout Switzerland. In 2000 the previous owners of Cablecom sold out to the British-American NTL for a price of 5.8 billion Swiss francs. In the years that followed, operative business was sustainably improved. In the wake of financial difficulties NTL sold Cablecom to a group of banks and private investors in 2003.

The owners planned to go public with Cablecom in the middle of October 2005. After Liberty Global Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Global acquired Cablecom for 2.8 billion on 30 September 2005, the planned IPO was withdrawn. In the years that followed Cablecom invested in its network development. In 2007 the company launched high definition television (HDTV). Two years later cablecom introduced its first combination deals (all-in-one packages with Internet, telephony and television).

In 2010 Cablecom launched the DigiCard enabling customers to enjoy digital TV without having to connect an additional device to their Television set. Cablecom has began offering Video on Demand with HD and 3D content in early 2011.

Cablecom was relaunched as upc cablecom in April 2011 with the slogan “More Power, More Joy”. With the upc cablecom brand the company wishes to be perceived on the market as a subsidiary of Liberty Global while retaining its legacy as part of Swiss telecommunications history. In the course of rebranding the red wrench was replaced by a new logo.[3] In June upc cablecom signed an agreement with Orange to keep an option open of offering customers mobile telephony products in the future.

At the beginning of 2013 the entertainment platform Horizon was launched onto the Swiss market. Manufactured by Samsung Electronics, the platform is based on an Intel Atom CE CPU, operating six tuners and a cable modem, allowing customers to record up to four channels simultaneously and combining TV, Internet and fixed-line telephony in one single set-top box.

Services[edit]

  • Analog cable TV & Radio
  • Digital cable TV & Radio
  • Internet
  • Telephony

Digital TV & Radio[edit]

Packages & Prices[edit]

UPC Cablecom operates three separate main grids for the German speaking region (Deutschschweiz), the French speaking region (Romandie) and the Italian speaking region (Ticino) of Switzerland, based on the main spoken language of the served communities. Therefore the available television and radio channels differ between the three grids.

UPC cablecom basic packages[edit]

upc cablecom TV Mini
consists of approximately 55 television channels, including 21 high-definition simulcast channels. The channels differ between the three regional grids, with a focus on carrying channels in the region's main language. The Deutschschweiz grid contains furthermore 9 Swiss German regional television channels (EPG No. 17–24), of which only one or two are available per region (subgrid).
upc cablecom TV Classic
consists of the Mini package and contains an additional 60 standard-definition television channels, and three more HD channels (two simulcasts & one HD-exclusive). This package is since mid-2009 the successor of the former cablecom digital tv basic package, which was free to all customers with a cablecom mediabox.
upc cablecom TV Comfort
consists of the Classic package and contains additional 50 premium television channels, including 13 HD channels (seven simulcasts & six HD-exclusive). This package is since mid-2009 the successor of the former cablecom collection & HD package.
Package Price Channels
Total
Channels
(additional)
Language
(German)
Language
(English)
Language
(French)
Language
(Italian)
Language
(other)
Format
Mini CHF 0.00 55 55 36 3 7 6 3
Mini SD 34 34 19 3 5 4 3 SDTV
Mini HD 21 21 17 2 2 HDTV
Classic CHF 10.00 119 64 21 19 5 2 17
Classic SD 95 61 19 18 5 2 17 SDTV
Classic HD 24 3 2 1 HDTV
Comfort CHF 25.00 167 48 41 7
Comfort SD 130 35 30 5 SDTV
Comfort HD 37 13 11 2 HDTV

UPC cablecom option packages[edit]

cablecom erotic
consists of adult subscription channels. The package has the same content in all three grids.
cablecom options
single option packages in different languages. The packages (if available) have the same content in all three grids. Parts of the cablecom español option make part of the basic offerings in the Romandie grid and most of the cablecom Italia option makes part of the basic offerings in the Ticino grid.
Package Price Channels
Grid CH-D
Channels
Grid CH-F
Channels
Grid CH-I
Format
cablecom erotic cablecom erotic CHF 35.00 3 3 3 SDTV
cablecom options cablecom albanica CHF 22.50 2 2 2 SDTV
cablecom options cablecom español CHF 15.00 5 basic 5 SDTV
cablecom options cablecom italia CHF 15.00 8 8 basic SDTV
cablecom options cablecom português CHF 11.00 2 2 2 SDTV
cablecom options cablecom português premium CHF 35.00 1 1 1 SDTV
cablecom options cablecom srbija (Pink Plus) CHF 27.50 2 2 2 SDTV
cablecom options cablecom tamil CHF 25.00 1 n/a n/a SDTV
cablecom options cablecom türkiye CHF 15.00 7 7 7 SDTV
cablecom options cablecom türkiye premium CHF 30.00 2 n/a 2 SDTV

Third party offerings[edit]

Teleclub
Swiss subscription television service provider for the German speaking region, also available through non-Cablecom cable television grids, satellite (in cooperation with Germany's Sky and Swisscom TV is available as basic package, with three additional optional packages. The option packages Movie and Family contain some non-exclusive channels, also available through the cablecom collection packages.
Canal+
French subscription television service provider, also available in the French speaking region of Switzerland. Canal+ is available as basic package, with one additional optional package (HDTV channel).
Cine+
French subscription television service provider, also available in the French speaking region of Switzerland.
Package Price Channels
Grid CH-D
Channels
Grid CH-F
Channels
Grid CH-I
Format
Teleclub Teleclub Basic CHF 39.90 3 SDTV
Teleclub Teleclub Movie CHF 9.90 5 SDTV
Teleclub Teleclub Family CHF 9.90 6 SDTV
Teleclub Teleclub Sport CHF 9.90 3 SDTV
Canal+ Canal+ CHF 55.00 5 SDTV
Canal+ Canal+ HD incl. 1 HDTV
Cinecinema Cinecinema CHF 20.00 7 SDTV

Former Cablecom packages[edit]

In June 2010 Cablecom introduced new hardware and restructured the basic programm packages, leaving the former packages in place for all existing customers with bought hardware, or rented hardware but unwilling to change packages. The change introduced the DigiCard (conditional-access module (CAM) using CI+), selling for CHF 99, and the mediabox receiver HD for CHF 4 per month, discontinuing the mediabox receiver (not HD compliant) selling for CHF 150, or rented for CHF 6 per month.

The lowered hardware prices for new (or changing) customers were compensated by cutting the free-of-charge digital tv basic package (over 110 TV channels) in half, into a free-of-charge Mini package (over 50 TV channels) and a chargeable Classic package, containing more than 60 additional TV channels. Also the former five thematic collection packages, and the HD package were folded into the new Comfort package, and aren't sold individually anymore. Customers opting to keep their existing packages are unaffected by the changes, and get the digital tv basic (now Classic) free-of-charge, and the individual collection packages as following described.

cablecom digital TV basic
consists of approximately 100 television channels free to all customers. The channels differ between the three regional grids, with a focus on carrying channels in the region's main language. The Deutschschweiz grid contains furthermore 9 Swiss German regional television channels (EPG No. 17–24), of which only one or two are available per region (subgrid).
cablecom collection
consists of five thematic channel packages, which can be subscribed as single package (CHF 7.50 per month). The complete collection of all five packages is available for CHF 15.00 per month. In the cablecom collection the channels once again differ between the three regional grids, with focus on the region's main language.
cablecom HD
consists of additional HDTV channels, not included in the basic package. The package is available single (CHF 7.50 per month) or as part of the cablecom collection & HD for CHF 20.00 per month.
Package Price Channels
Grid CH-D
Channels
Grid CH-F
Channels
Grid CH-I
Format
cablecom digital TV basic CHF 0.00 119 101 110
cablecom digital TV basic (German) 55 17 31 SDTV
cablecom digital TV basic (English) 19 13 19 SDTV
cablecom digital TV basic (French) 12 36 12 SDTV
cablecom digital TV basic (Italian) 6 6 27 SDTV
cablecom digital TV basic (other) 21 23 17 SDTV
cablecom digital TV basic (HD) 6 6 4 HDTV
cablecom collection & HD cablecom collection & HD CHF 20.00 44 30 19
cablecom collection cablecom collection CHF 15.00 40 28 17 SDTV
cablecom collection movie & stars (m&s) CHF 7.50 11 6 2 SDTV
cablecom collection docu & life (d&l) CHF 7.50 9 7 4 SDTV
cablecom collection kids & fun (k&f) CHF 7.50 6 5 1 SDTV
cablecom collection sports & more (s&m) CHF 7.50 9 8 8 SDTV
cablecom collection music & clips (m&c) CHF 7.50 5 2 2 SDTV
cablecom HD Comfort HD CHF 7.50 4 2 2 HDTV

On Demand services[edit]

On Demand services are available through the Mediaboxes (Receiver or Recorder) exclusively.

Video on Demand (VOD)
the VOD content consists of newer movies, most of them being Hollywood productions and occasional Swiss movies, a few concerts, a limited amount of high-definition offerings, and adult films. The main features are charged on a pay-per-view basis granting unlimited access for the following 24 hours; occasional Trailers are free of charge.
TV on Demand
content produced by Schweizer Fernsehen (SF) is available on demand for seven days after broadcast through the SF Video Portal. The offering consisty almost exclusively of news, weather and magazines, and is available free of charge. For a limited evaluation period Viacom offered a MTV and a Nickelodeon channel providing all episodes of a single season of four of their owned series per channel. While the first episode of each series was available for free, the following episodes were charged two francs per episode.

Analog TV & Radio[edit]

The cable network carries at least 36 analog television and 34 analog radio channels depending on the region. In the Federal Act on Radio and Television the Federal Council prescribed a Must-Carry list for analog channels. This includes analog channels stipulated by the Federal Council that must be broadcast nationwide by upc cablecom and other cable television providers. Aside from the seven SRG channels, this list includes the principal public-service channels of the neighbouring countries: ARD, ORF1, Rai Uno and France 2, as well as Arte, 3sat, TV5 Monde and Euronews in the language of the respective coverage area.

Internet[edit]

upc cablecom offers broadband Internet over its cable network. In this sector the company serves over 553,200 customers (valid on 31 December 2011). The cable network consists of 95% Optical Fibre Cable and of 5% Coaxial Cable, known as Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC). The Internet service is run on the DOCSIS 3.0 standard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Excerpt from the Canton of Zurich Commercial Registry
  2. ^ a b About Us
  3. ^ "From Cablecom to upc cablecom – More Power, More Joy." (PDF), Media release, 21 March 2011

External links[edit]