This is proving to be a busy year for Orange in Central and Eastern Europe.
Aside from launching a DTH service and sports channel in Slovakia, it has entered into a number of key agreements and significantly expanded its FTTH network in Poland. Take-up of its services has grown in Romania, while in Moldova it has launched a new converged TV offer after taking over Sun Communications, the country’s leading cable operator.
The new DTH service in Slovakia, details of which were announced this week, is particularly significant in that, alongside internet distribution, it effectively gives Orange TV national distribution. Up until now it was only available as a fibre service, reaching around one in five Slovak TV homes.
Meanwhile in Poland, Orange has reached a number of important milestones in recent weeks. In late July, it announced that it had doubled its FTTH subscriber total in the year to June 30, reaching 286,000 subscribers. Since then, it has passed the 300,000 mark.
At the same time, its TV subscriber total stood at 900,000 in H1 and is likely to top one million by the end of the year, if not sooner.
Orange has also recently signed important fibre access agreements in Poland with T-Mobile and the cable operator Inea. It plans to invest close to €1 billion on its fibre network between 2016-2020 and to eventually reach 5 million homes.
In Romania, on the other hand, Orange was in the news earlier this year as speculation mounted that it would acquire the country’s leading regional cable operator AKTA. While that has so far failed to materialise, it signed a key agreement with SES back in January for the distribution of its services via Astra. At the same time, it has seen the take-up of its cable and DTH delivered service Orange Home TV grow impressively, reaching 448,000 subscribers at the end of the second quarter.
In Moldova, Orange has been transforming its business since taking over Sun Communications in late 2016. Earlier this year it teamed up with Viaccess-Orca to launch a new convergent TV offer, and more recently it also began to work with the Canadian company Incognito in order to offer fibre services.