Unitymedia KabelBW, the German cable operator owned by US media company Liberty Global, will begin offering broadband internet access at download speeds of up to 200Mbps across its network footprint from 3 November 2014. Over twelve million households in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Baden Wurttemberg will be able to subscribe to the higher speeds as part of a new triple-play package ‘3play PREMIUM 200’ (priced at EUR43 [USD54] per month for the first year and EUR50 thereafter) or the double-play ‘2play PREMIUM 200’ plan, which costs EUR35 per month for the first year and EUR42 thereafter. The highest speed currently offered by Unitymedia KabelBW is 150Mbps, with the company claiming that nearly half of its 2.7 million broadband customers are connected at speeds of at least 50Mbps. According to CEO Lutz Schuler, further speed increases will be forthcoming next year.
Unitymedia KabelBW was formed on 1 July 2012 following the completion of Liberty Global’s merger of Unitymedia, which operates networks in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, and Baden-Wurttemberg-based Kabel BW, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Liberty purchased Unitymedia in January 2010 for an enterprise value of EUR3.5 billion, before snapping up Kabel BW from Swedish private equity firm EQT in March 2011 for EUR3.16 billion. The combined entity passes around 12.7 million households and has a customer base of around 7.1 million.