Frontier unveils Vantage brand, plays up broadband, TV and VoIP product lines

Frontier has unveiled a new brand called Vantage that encompasses its suite of HD TV, broadband and VoIP services on the eve of ramping up its FTTH and IPTV footprints.

Under the Vantage brand are three main products: Vantage TV, Vantage Internet and Vantage Voice.

A key component of the Vantage offerings is IPTV. The service provider announced during its fourth quarter 2015 earnings call that it would roll out Vantage TV to over 3 million households over the next three to four years.

Upon completion, Frontier's Vantage video services will be available to nearly 50 percent of the 8.5 million households in Frontier's current footprint. Additionally, Frontier's pending acquisition of Verizon's wireline assets in California, Texas and Florida will enable Frontier to extend Vantage TV service to over 3 million additional households.

In order to meet its IPTV goals, the service provider will leverage and extend its FTTN-based copper network infrastructure to deliver IPTV with minimal capital.

In addition to leveraging the existing FTTN network, the new service will use Frontier's enhanced billing and support systems, IPTV delivery platform, content relationships and compression technology.

Prior to the broader launch, Frontier introduced the Vantage suite of products in Durham, N.C., in the fourth quarter of 2015. With the Durham market set, Frontier said it will begin introducing the brand in Connecticut and then expand into other Frontier markets.

By making the FrontierTV service available in Durham in January over its existing copper and FTTH networks, Frontier can challenge the growing threat from AT&T (NYSE: T) and Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG), which are rolling out their own 1 Gbps FTTH services.

The debut of the Vantage brand comes at a pivotal time for Frontier. At the end of March, Frontier will complete its acquisition of Verizon's assets in California, Florida and Texas.

Verizon's operations in these three states serve about 3.7 million voice connections; about 2.2 million broadband customers, including about 1.6 million FiOS Internet customers; and approximately 1.2 million FiOS Video customers.

These assets will afford Frontier with a broader range of FiOS FTTH customers and copper customers that it can upgrade to deliver higher speeds and IPTV services in which Verizon has not heavily invested in recent years.

However, according to a report in Telecompetitor the new Frontier Vantage brand will not replace the existing Frontier FiOS brand. Frontier will continue to use the FiOS brand in markets where it acquired FTTH assets from Verizon.

Being able to provide IPTV to a wide-ranging set of its existing and potentially new customers along with new speeds is certainly valuable in its new markets is important, but the next proof point for Frontier will be to ensure they can provide price and service consistency.

Looking to avoid the mistakes it saw following its acquisition of AT&T's wireline assets in Connecticut, Frontier has adopted the same bundles and pricing Verizon currently uses. This will enable the telco to avoid the average revenue per customer (ARPC) impact it saw in Connecticut.

Additionally, the service provider has developed a plan to also ensure there will be no impact to Verizon FiOS video customers being transferred onto its platform.

For more:
- see the release

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