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Liberty Global: DOCSIS 3.1 Field Trials Set for ‘Late 2017’

Eyeing a future that delivers widespread gigabit speeds, Liberty Global plans to kick off field trials of DOCSIS 3.1 in “late 2017,” the cable giant noted in its Q4 results.

The company is also looking to expand the deployment of its cloud-powered, 4K-capable video platform, and a new WiFi Connect Box.

Those plans come into focus a few months after Virgin Media, the U.K.-based MSO owned by Liberty Global, introduced a TiVo-powered set-top called the V6 that supports 4K and High Dynamic Range video, and a bigger shift toward a new, cloud-based  “EOS” platform that’s poised to become Liberty Global’s video workhorse.

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Liberty Global said it added 946,000 revenue-generating units in Europe last year, up 24%. The operator ended the year with more than 1.4 million new “gigabit-ready homes,” including nearly 500,000 at Virgin Media.

In Q4, Liberty Global also completed the rollout of its Horizon TV platform across its European operations, following launches in Australia and “Horizon-Lite” in Romania.

Liberty Global will use its updated video platforms to spur growth in that category. The MSO lost 24,400 video subs in Europe during Q4 2016, narrowed from a loss of 59,100 in the year-ago period, and shed 276,900 video subs for all of 2016, versus a loss of 400,300 in 2015.

The MSO also gained 230,600 data subs in Europe, alongside the addition of 117,500 voice subs in the period.

The company’s LiLAC Group, which contains its Latin American and Caribbean operations, shed 6,200 video subs in Q4, added 14,500 data customers, and lost 8,500 video subs.