LIVE FROM BROADBAND WORLD FORUM 2014: Operators in markets which are less attractive to international players can use local content as a way to bolster their position as the broadband market develops, Adrian Jezina, CTO at VIPnet (Croatia), advised.
While markets with a first language that is spoken widely internationally – such as English, Spanish or German – are likely to be attractive markets to companies looking to build an international presence, in contrast smaller markets with their own language are less likely to draw outside attention.
“If you go to southeast Europe, these are smaller countries, local languages and content cannot be utilised in multiple countries,” said the technology head of Croatia’s second largest mobile operator. In particular, news and sports do not necessarily transfer across borders.
“The power here is in local content, and if you can protect it for a longer period, it gives you security that you will be a major player in that market for some time,” Jezina noted.
Telekom Austria, parent of VIPnet, sees itself falling into both camps. While its home market joins the ranks of German-speaking countries, providing a large potential user base for so-called OTT players, its operations in Croatia and Bulgaria are less likely to draw international attention.
“If you are part of a country like Austria, which is part of the German-speaking countries, big world players are coming there,” he said.
With a number of mobile operators in the process of buying-up fixed businesses to provide opportunities in bundled and converged services, Jezina was also able to share some experience of this – mobile player VIPnet acquired cable player B.Net several years ago.
“There are two different cultures, worlds, ways of thinking, how to sell, how to target customers, and everything else. There are some compromises to be made and learnings on either side. Maybe you are ten times bigger in any segment, but you cannot just say ‘we are ten times bigger, we do this’ and pass it through, because it’s very, very different,” he said.