SES is a global satellite operator which has significant shares on the markets of Baltics, Nordics and CIS. Therefore, its not surprising that SES for many years has been a General Sponsor of the Telco Trends conference – the best meeting point for telecom companies from all those regions. Telco Trends – 2017 is held 14 – 18 August in Latvia. Mediasat asked SES Vice President, Marketing Communications in the Nordic, Baltic and Eastern Europe countries Anna-Karin Modigh about the last SES news and her impression of cooperation with Telco Trends.
I remember we got acquainted on the Telco Trends conference in Latvia. You have been the General Sponsor of the event for few years. What are your impressions on the conference?
We have been the General Sponsor of the TelcoTrends since 2014. This is the biggest industry event in the Baltics and we will support it this year as well. Over 300 participants from Eastern Europe and CIS countries visit this event every year to network, share news and discuss the industry trends, so we definitely find it useful.
How does it help to develop your presence on the market?
This is an excellent opportunity for networking. There are a lot of people from the trade gathered and there are possibilities to show and tell about the SES services and discuss opportunities for potential customers and to meet with people from the trade as a whole. Since there are companies not only from the Baltic States but also from several surrounding countries.
Were there any special cases or acquaintances on the conference, which would become important for you?
TelcoTrends brings together a wide array of industry stakeholders from different countries as it is a great platform for networking. Every year we meet new people and all the new contacts are important for us. We are convinced that there are several persons that we have been meeting with and will meet that are important for SES in different ways.
Which regions do you run? What is the market share of SES there?
Our Stockholm office is responsible for the Nordic, Baltic, Eastern European countries and Turkey. We have our local offices in Stockholm, Riga, Kyiv, Moscow and Istanbul. But we should not forget that SES is a global company, covering 99 % of the world with our more than 50 satellites. This means we are also taking enquiries outside of our region and make sure that they are taken care of.
Which markets are the most important for you? What are the news from the Baltics?
All markets are equally important. Some markets, such as the Nordic and Baltic ones are more mature and developed than some of the others. In this case it means we already play an important role as carrying DTH platforms and feed cable and terrestrial as well as IPTV networks. In some other markets we are just building up the knowledge and awareness and start to pick up new customers. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish, all markets are important for us.
Tell us about your partnership with Georgian DTH platform Magticom.
Magticom is the biggest telecom operator in Georgia and carries the biggest DTH platform, MagtiSat. We have been working closely together for more than 5 years. The service is popular and our reach is constantly growing.
What is the Ultra HD dynamics?
Ultra HD is still in it starting blocks and is about giving the audience a better, greater and more immersive viewing experience. With a resolution of 3840 x 2160 the picture contains of eight million pixels but Ultra HD (UHD) is not only about more pixels. More pixels are an important fact but UHD also delivers more color nuances, higher frame rate and High Dynamic Range. High Dynamic Range is the buzzword for 2017 and the next step for UHD. HDR makes scenes appear brighter and more natural, adding highlights and sparkles. All of these factors combined truly deliver a better video image.
How will it influence the market?
What we see is that the TV manufacturers have an uptake in Ultra HD TV sets from screen size 55” and above but also at lower screen sizes. We believe that the trend of larger TV sets will continue and a better quality picture is then inevitable because of families living rooms will not increase in size, but the television set will and standard definition quality is too low. We do believe we are going to see an uptake in UHD channels the next coming of years. One year ago SES carried 15 commercial UHD channels and today SES carry 22 commercial UHD channels and the first channels launched in 2015, so I would say it’s going fast. Live sport is truly amazing to watch with UHD quality and we see more and more sport added to MTGs Ultra HD channel. Soccer, ice-hockey, motor sports and also extreme sports are available on the channel.
Tell us about your partnership with MTG.
We have been working together with MTG /Viasat for many years and we have a really good relationship aiming sure that the solutions and services are the best possible.
On the last Telco Trends conference you mentioned about the launch of the first 4K sport channel by MTG. How does it go?
The Ultra-HD channel is still up and running and new content is being added. The main focus on the channel is sports but there are also some other programs broadcast in Ultra-HD. We believe that this is something that will stay and continue to grow worldwide. The TV screens are getting bigger and bigger on all markets and bigger screens require better picture quality. Once you get used to the Ultra-HD standard it is really difficult to go back to “just” HD or standard resolution.
What is your news for Telco Trends 2017?
We have a demo channel on SES where we are now broadcasting Ultra HD HDR. This is a further step to an even more detailed resolution.