Telcos need to face new technologies to attract more customers

During the last edition of the Nextv Series Colombia event, the leading conference that took place last June 27th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Bogota, Aníbal Mauricio Vasquez Murcia, TV and Video Manager at Telefónica Colombia, Marcelo Salgado, Chief of Television and CNT Channel (Ecuador) and Andres Woodhouse, Sales Director of Castlabs, were the speakers that developed the panel ‘Telcos and the new TV business’. Some of the main topics debated were the main disadvantages in satellite systems, play platforms, models of platform aggregators, the ARPU recorded in Latin America, the use of artificial intelligence assistants in homes and the emergence of new niches with available technologies.

‘The main problem we see today in the satellite system is related to all video developments and consumption’, said Vasquez Murcia, who added that ‘capabilities and the spectrum saturation in the satellite’ are the main problems and, in order to face them, Telefónica Colombia is working on a technological migration to overcome these difficulties, although the executive stressed that 95% of its customers have satellite technology service. ‘We try to be at the forefront from the satellite point of view, but we have a clear position, at the level of having a technological migration, taking advantage of the developments that the company is doing at the regional level in fiber developments’, the executive said. Salgado also expressed himself on this issue, and indicated that ‘taking the desertion that the DTH market has had in Ecuador into consideration, what we are implementing are new technologies, he said, and listed ‘have a strong OTT and IPTV, use our fiber optic – which is expanding nationwide, and we started with our OTT platform, which was launched in 2013’.

Regarding play platforms, Vasquez Murcia indicated that the platform ‘has become our main product, because we know that technological migration is also expressed in consumption terms. In relation to this, the executive of Telefónica Colombia stated that ‘the diversity of content consumption means that we have a good profile, through information, when they are consumed’, and indicated that ‘we have a 360° vision in relation to the play platforms, and not so limited towards TV Everywhere, but considering them a ‘platform of platforms’. With regard to CNT Play -platform of CNT-, Salgado expressed that ‘it is a value added service to DTH subscribers’, which, when hiring a DTH service, they can access to the platform without additional cost. Our clients can watch Ecuadorian football, and we bet a lot on exclusive content through producers on current issues – specially sports, cooking, inclusion – and we do not ignore the possibility of making it profitable in the future with stronger and more varied content, but, thanks to that, all our subscribers – around 380 thousand – have direct access to CNT Play’.

When asked about his vision on platform aggregator models, Woodhouse said that ‘all operators and telcos want to be an aggregator and use the customer base they already have to offer other products and services. What I see as an interesting trend and opportunity in the deployment of FTTH to the different regions, is the possibility not only to play with TV content, but to open the door to gaming and IoT (Internet of Things)’, and expressed that ‘the transformation of habits and consumption in  new generations go beyond just watching TV “. Salgado said that CNT is already implementing a business line, and said that “we have to prove the acceptance of all people to avoid making mistakes, but the new trend of young people is different from any other person and we must be adapted to it’.

‘The only way to analyze how ARPUs are implemented is to talk about hard bundles’, said Vasquez Murcia, explaining as the main reason that ‘seeing the customer loyalty and tying it to the company means offering a better number of services incorporated within the platform’. Woodhouse also expressed himself on this issue and said that ‘there must be a lot of interaction and  markets closeness to see new trends and establish which are the useful services and which should be removed to replace what is lost in that ARPU, and to loyal to make the churn lower’. When referring to artificial intelligence assistants in homes, Vasquez Murcia indicated that ‘consumptions success in platforms are in these artificial intelligence recommendations, where we have Netflix as leader’. In addition, he said that, from the Movistar Play platform, work is being done to see how to make an investment. ‘At the moment we do not have such a service at homes, but we have developments in Spain’, he added.

Vasquez Murcia said that ‘unlike a couple of years ago, we were limited to offer a wide range of content, now, with new platforms and technologies available, clients can have and make their consumptions selections’, and added that there are now niches that could not be reached before. Salgado referred himself to the topic and indicated that ‘one of the ways to create our own packages is to expand the offer to DTH clients, and that will give us the possibility to continue attracting more customers’.