NTL bought the consumer operations of Cable & Wireless Communications last week in a £8.2 billion deal that will strengthen its position against rival UK media giants.
"Now UK cable will really have the competitive scale and national presence to compete against BSkyB and BT," said Greg Clarke, CEO of C&WC.
Parent company Cable & Wireless has split C&WC - of which it owns 53% - in two. The cable telephone, Internet and TV operations will be sold to NTL, while C&W will take total ownership of the corporate, business, IP and wholesale operations.
C&W in May announced plans to refocus on business markets and dispose of its consumer assets.
"Today's announcement is another key step in the implementation of C&W's strategy of focusing on the high growth markets of IP and data services to the business customer," said the company's CEO, Graham Wallace.
NTL said the combined company will serve more than 2.8 million customers and pass around 12 million homes in the UK and Ireland. NTL aims to make savings in equipment purchasing, reduced telephony interconnect and termination costs.
France Telecom, which took a £600 million stake in NTL earlier this month (see PC Week, 20 July), will raise its investment in NTL by a further £2.8 billion. The company will gain a strong footing in the UK through this deal, according to analaysts.
"The cable market in the UK is one of the most developed, so it's quite a nice morsel from that point of view," said Ovum analyst Tim Johnson.
C&WC has frequently been slammed for its poor customer service levels.
Customers can expect to benefit from NTL's slicker approach, according to Johnson.
"You'd expect them to make more investment in telephony and probably cable modems. If NTL is anything to go by, there will be more vigorous marketing as far as C&WC customers are concerned - they're going to get more attention," he said.
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