With the widespread use of data-only smart devices such as tablets, service providers have started looking into offering quintuple-play services for their subscribers. In some markets such as Spain and Portugal, quintuple-play packages are already registering millions of subscribers as operators graduate from triple-play and quadruple play to provide the all-in service that includes wireless broadband connectivity(WBB). Quintuple-play adds WBB service to four other services - fixed telephony, fixed broadband, mobile broadband and IPTV services and is expected to start characterizing bundles offered by service providers in near future, especially among operators with existing presence in all these segments
Quintuple-play is not new - most operators were already offering wireless broadband services as an alternative to fixed broadband and more recently, operators such as Swisscom via its My SME solution are combining the WBB with fixed broadband to ensure continuous coverage for their enterprise customers. With modems that automatically link to mobile connectivity when fiber goes down, users can be assured of access to internet connectivity at all times. At the same time, the advent of smart home and other smart building applications that necessitate internet connection for tens of M2M appliances throughout the building also calls for such technology to ensure that users are able to manage and control all their 'connected' devices during outages.
Quintuple-play also complements service providers' inroads into the digital services segment - namely music and video services - where they have started partnering (and in some cases, acquiring) content provider companies to enable them to offer popular digital content via mobile applications and via their Pay TV services. With quintuple-play, operators are able to leverage the assets built on the digital services front to offer multi-screen services and shared content bundles to more users within a shared plan while becoming a one-stop center to manage all their connectivity and content needs.
Just last week, Spain's market authority, Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia(CNMC) announced that total quadplay and quintuple subscriptions secured by mobile operators in Spain at the end of the third quarter this year surpassed 7.6 million, increasing by 2.9 million compared to a year ago. CNMC in its blog said that quintuple packages made up 1.9 million as at end of September 2014, after growing by 231.7% or 1.2 million packages this year. The momentum garnered by quintuple-play packages does point to the direction service providers are heading to especially in a climate of reducing data rates and increased competition between operators and with OTT service providers - CNMC said that revenues for telecom operators as at end of September 2014 slid for all top 4 operators in the country - Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Ono.
By enabling more screens to be added to a single account and by increasing the value proposition for operators' multi-screen content offers, quintuple-play strategy is expected to boost operator revenues (from data usage and from content subscriptions) in near future especially with the increase in the number of digital screens and number of connected devices in each household that rely on broadband connectivity.