& cplSiteName &

Frontier Eyes OTT Video Options

Alan Breznick
3/3/2017
50%
50%

Still reeling from customer and revenue declines, Frontier is looking to gain some salvation by taking a plunge into the OTT video business.

Speaking on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call earlier this week, Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR) President & CEO Dan McCarthy strongly hinted that the large US telco could launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming video service sometime soon because of technology advances and "some changes in the landscape" on the OTT end. While he didn't offer any specifics, he indicated strong interest in the idea as one way to generate fresh growth.

"So I think we could spend time developing our own or we may partner with others," McCarthy said in response to an analyst's question, according to a transcript of the earnings call supplied by Seeking Alpha. "But I think that will be an important part of our strategy going forward."

The proposed move comes as Frontier frantically tries to recover its equilibrium after its botched takeover of three large Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) wireline properties last year. Company executives are casting about for ways to re-stoke customer and revenue growth after reporting their fourth straight quarter of poor earnings results this week and laying off 1,000 workers last fall. In the latest quarter, for instance, Frontier lost 144,000 residential and 14,000 business customers as its overall revenue fell from $2.5 billion to $2.4 billion and it ran up a net loss of $80 million. (See Frontier Lops Off 1,000 Jobs in Big Overhaul and Frontier Eyes Second Half Rebound.)

If Frontier does venture into OTT video, it would be following in the recent footsteps of CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), which is now trialing an OTT service in four markets and plans to launch the offering commercially sometime this spring and then extend the service throughout its footprint over the rest of the year. In their own fourth-quarter earnings call earlier this month, CenturyLink executives said they are also exploring the idea of licensing the new DirecTV Now OTT service from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). (See CenturyLink Embraces OTT Video.)

Like CenturyLink, Frontier is also scaling back its formerly grand IPTV ambitions after running into serious system integration issues with the three new Verizon systems in California, Florida and Texas and realizing that there might be more cost-effective ways to deliver video service. Instead of leveraging its fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) network to offer IP video ultimately to 7 million homes across its enlarged footprint, the telco is now focusing on serving up IPTV in just five markets.

"We did roll out to a number of markets last year," McCarthy said. "We had anticipated going full throttle on those markets, but they were caught up in the whole disruption of what happened following the integration… What we decided at this point to really do is focus on those five markets, evaluate them, ensure that where we're and what we thought would be profitability and good growth rates are there."


Want to learn more about the latest pay-TV and broadband technologies? Sign up now for Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event on March 21-22, at the Curtis Hotel in downtown Denver.


Similar to CenturyLink again, Frontier is also raising broadband speeds throughout its territories, although it's not offering anything near the gigabit services of the bigger telco. Over the course of last year, for instance, Frontier completed the extension of 50Mbit/s speeds or higher to 1 million households, including at least 200,000 copper-only homes.

In addition, like CenturyLink once more, Frontier is looking to build up its commercial services presence. As part of its corporate restructuring last year, it created a new, separate commercial division to focus on small and mid-sized businesses.

Even with all this activity, Frontier intends to trim its capital spending a bit this year. Plans call for spending $1 billion to $1.25 billion on capital improvements in 2017, down from more than $1.4 billion in 2016.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, >Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Turkcell Challenges Turkey's Current TV Market

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Baris Zavaroglu, TV and rntertainment business director of Turkcell, explains Turkcell's strategy in elevating the small and uncertain TV market in Turkey.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Altibox’s Infrastructure Synergy Strategy Reduces Deployment Costs

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Thomas Skjelbred, CEO of Altibox, on how to improve efficiency and reduce deployment coast through infrastructure synergy in Norway.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ismail Butun on the Changing Role of Turkcell

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ismail Butun, chief marketing officer of Turkcell, explains the importance of video and mobile services for the future of the company.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IDC's Emir Halilovic on Trends of Cloudification

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Emir Halilovic of IDC CEMA discusses the future and direction of cloudification. Also, the all-cloud approach taken by Huawei and others in the industry.
LRTV Custom TV
How Intel Is Powering the 5G Era

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading tours a series of 5G "super demos" so see how Intel envisions the 5G-connected future. We take a look at a prototype connected BMW, a light pole with environmental sensors that provides 5G wireless to a smart home and a fully untethered virtual reality experience.
LRTV Custom TV
Source Photonics CEO Doug Wright Talks About the Future of Source Photonics

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Source Photonics' CEO, Doug Wright, talks to Light Reading about how the company is continuously investing in its operations to meet not only its customers' current technology demands but also to deliver their next-generation technology needs.
LRTV Custom TV
Live Demo: DevOps in Service Chains & 5G Network Slices PoC

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Executives from PoC collaborating companies – Patrick Waldemar, VP and Head of Technology at Telenor Research, John Healy, VP of the Datacenter Network Solutions Group at Intel, Vincent Spinelli, SVP of Global Sales and Marketing at RIFT.io, Mats Eriksson, CEO and co-founder of Arctos Labs, and Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds – review ...
LRTV Documentaries
The Year of Fat & Skinny Bundles

3|29|17   |   21:06   |   (0) comments


In this fireside chat, Roku's Andrew Ferrone predicts that 2017 will be the year of multichannel OTT video bundles and spells out other trends in the OTT and pay-TV markets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
BBWF 2016: Orange Poland's Next-Gen Central Office

3|28|17   |     |   (0) comments


Introduction to Orange Poland's legacy next-generation central office solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Viavi at OFC 2017

3|28|17   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Editor-in-Chief Craig Matsumoto reports from the Viavi booth at OFC and gets an update on the 400G testing market from Tom Fawcett, VP and GM of LAB & Production. At this year's event, Viavi won three awards from Lightwave magazine and showcased an interoperability demo with Ethernet Alliance and Finisar.
LRTV Custom TV
Connecting the Entire Home With DOCSIS 3.1

3|28|17   |   3:58:   |   (0) comments


Hitron Technologies had the first cable modem certified for DOCSIS 3.1 and already has over 120,000 units in the field. Greg Fisher, CTO of Hitron, provides an update on his company's rollout of new gateways and why he thinks DOCSIS 3.1 will continue to drive value for operators into 2017 and beyond.
LRTV Interviews
Amazon Prime's Hand of God Creator on Producing for OTT

3|28|17   |     |   (1) comment


Ben Watkins is the creator, writer and producer of Hand of God, a series on Amazon Prime. At Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen conference in Denver, he explained the advantages of producing for an OTT platform versus traditional TV.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Unlocking China's $194B Telecom Market
Robert Clark, 3/27/2017
Ericsson Tightens Focus, Warns of $1.7B Q1 Hit
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/28/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Working From Home Doesn't Work for Everyone Click Here
You shouldn't nap on your keyboard, for instance.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.