Gustavo Arciniega, CEO at Concable TV: ‘Android is the way to go’

Another of the panels that took place during the last Nextv Series Mexico’s virtual edition was called ‘Pay TV Operators: the road to OTT’. Some of the key topics of the debate focused on TV apps or full hybrid STB deployment; OTT Pay TV and competition with cable operators; and less STB; streaming devices and Android boxes. 

Industry executives gathered by Dataxis to star in the panel were Gustavo Arciniega Alonso, CEO at Concable TV; Dan Patton, Senior Director of Product Management at Vecima; and Nic Wilson, Head of Customer Success at TiVo.

‘We are a local operator, and we have a very different perspective than what happens in the big cities. Our user’s needs are really very different. What our users demand us the most is more bandwidth, and internet in the new regions to which we are reaching’, reported Arciniega. ‘Our new networks are all 100% GPON. We skipped the Docsis step, and saw that GPON is the right solution, and we started implementing GPON four years ago’, he added.

Regarding how traditional pay TV operators can take advantage of their relationship with their subscribers and their current infrastructure to enrich their offer with the best of OTT, Wilson assured that ‘we are seeing big changes in the ways in which users consume content.  We see a lot of pay TV content that is available over the top, with players involved in the OTT arena, such as Apple, Roku, Google, and others, trying to capitalize and monetize the content. We also see a great opportunity at TiVo for operators, because they have the existing customer relationship, and can find a way to unify user content, access to apps and video content, and other items, to provide the best value experience for subscribers’.

With regard to the main technological and market features that allow competition between pay TV operators and OTT alternatives, Patton reported that ‘among the things that have not changed yet, is that content is still king, with which the ability of a pay TV operator to provide the best content is one of the main success factors. Another important issue is that pay TV operators own their networks, thus they can provide the best quality of experience in video delivery to their end users. And, regarding the issues that have changed, TV is no longer the only way to view content, but is one option among many to do so. The ability to consume content on the device in which each user prefers, when and where they prefer it, is one of the main changes in the marketplace. I think there is a great ability for pay TV operators to have their existing customer relationships, to provide new technologies to expand the delivery of video services for more devices and subscribers’.

Arciniega expressed himself about the path chosen by operators to integrate the next generation of OTT video services, and assured that ‘for operators like us, the development of apps is much more efficient. The cost is lower, and users are buying their own STBs. For us, offering a TV app can be a solution to be able to offer this type of services, since it will allow us to reach different populations much faster, without having to worry about the deployment and maintenance of STBs. At some point, STBs will have to be replaced. In the medium and long term, applications will be the best solution for everyone and, being software, they can be updated’.

According to Patton, ‘when we think of a STB, we think of a device provided by a pay TV operator. I believe that the versions of the STBs will be obsolete in the future, but they will not be replaced by a single element. We are going to deploy capabilities based on software to offer a user experience that allows discovering content, not only from the pay TV service, but also from other services to which subscribers have access, even if they are not related to the pay TV operator’.

‘Android is the way to go’, Archiniega said. ‘We are all thinking about it, and some operators are already doing it, but it is definitely the way to go’, the executive completed, to later add that ‘the internet is our main path, but we are going to keep video services, because it is a complement to us in comparison with Telmex, for example. We know that we currently have two or three different generations of consumers in households, with which, by continuing to provide video, we cover a wider group of people, although with the internet we know that we are reaching the entire digital generation, who will be our customers for the next 20 or 30 years. Video is still key to us, and it sets us apart from our competition. We plan to offer a multi-screen service for clients, and we plan to keep the video. We would also love to be able to be aggregators’.