Thursday, January 16, 2014

What next for satellite DTH service providers?

The telecoms sector is embracing the triple play, but broadband is emerging as the new line rental. Services can be added in a variety of ways:
  • Managed services (fixed/mobile voice, SMS/MMS, TV/VOD).
  • OTT (partnering with the likes of Netflix).
  • Operator OTT (using new technologies such as NFV, SDN, WebRTC, HTML5).
What is there left to do for managed services companies without infrastructure, i.e. satellite TV operators such as M7 Group? They can still be resellers, but if they want more control, there are still some options left.

First, remember that they have one strength (a strong TV portfolio, lots of HD) and two weaknesses (no VOD, no BB).

Here are some options:
  • Add broadband:
    • Become an unbundler on FTTH (or a wholesale customer of an independent unbundler).
    • Partner with an MNO for rural areas, using outdoor LTE antennas (see Cyfrowy Polsat).
  • Add VOD:
    • Add interactive TV and VOD using HbbTV.
    • Add VOD through a Netflix-partnership.
    • Add VOD using the new Smart LNB technology.
  • Remain focused on TV/video:
    • Launch an OTT service (like BSkyB, Sky Deutschland, ONO, etc.).
    • Focus on the wholesale market to service resellers, OTT providers, cable headends etc.
UPDATE: the second VOD option requires broadband access and so a hybrid STB, just like TV Vlaanderen (part of M7 Group) is now launching.

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