Eutelsat’s Christoph Limmer will be opening this year’s TV Connect Africa (17th – 19th November 2015 Cape Town Convention Centre, South Africa), appearing on a panel discussing the digital switchover, along with speakers from NBC, RTI, EcoNet and Safaricom.
Today he gives IP&TV News an exclusive foretaste of some of the issues that will be discussed…
IP&TV News: Is it fair to say that the opportunities for African broadcasting inherent in digital migration are about more than just home entertainment?
Christoph Limmer: Absolutely. The progress we see in the field of digital migration will in particular offer opportunities in various areas. Digitalisation will for example drive the local content industries as more channels will be launched in the future. Content production will stimulate business opportunities along the value chain and therefore will have a positive impact on the local economies.
How is Eutelsat facilitating this growth – where does it fit in this ecosystem?
Eutelsat’s business is providing communications solutions via satellite. In developing broadcast markets in Africa we also committed to supporting our customers along their value chain to make sure that their business is successful. This includes, but is not limited to, partnerships with consumer electronics manufacturers like Samsung, providing technical and marketing support on the ground and offering installer trainings. We see ourselves as business partner, not just a capacity provider.
The digital transition in Africa has seen success stories and some not-so-successful ones. What’s been the secret for the former, in general, and what’s the next stage here?
We see a clear momentum in digital migration and are working closely with customers to drive the process forward in a way that is fast, cost-efficient and inclusive. What’s key to success and a main takeaway in other markets is understanding that digital migration is best achieved by combining terrestrial and satellite infrastructures. Here, satellite plays a crucial role as it reaches everyone in its footprint at any time making it a uniquely inclusive infrastructure. Governments have also realised that the process is often most efficiently deployed through a smart and complementary combination of local and international experts. Based on the development of the last 12 months it’s likely that we will see more and more countries closing the gap in the coming 1-2 years. At Eutelsat, we are fully mobilised to support governments as well as private companies in making digital migration happen and happen well in Africa.
What message are you bringing to this year’s TV Connect Africa – and who are you most looking forward to talking to at the event?
Today, every second channel carried on satellite over Africa is on one of our satellites. Our customers range from premium, blue-chip pay-TV operators to single free-to-air channels. Eutelsat has the experience and knowledge to support any broadcast-related business model. We see ourselves as business partners and want to continue to drive digitalisation over the region.
We are already looking forward to combining IP-based TV viewing like OTT with satellite. We have developed technical solutions and believe that the combination of IP and satellite will support changes in the way consumers watch content. This is the type of discussion we want to engage in at this year’s event.
Our focus and discussion will already looking forward combing IP based TV viewing like OTT with satellite. We have already developed the technical solutions and believe that the combination of IP and satellite will support the changes in consumer behaviour watching content. That’s the type of discussion we are looking for