Milutin Nikolic Business Director, Telekom Srbija
Telekom Srbija is one of the major telcos and key players across the broadcasting and communications sectors in Serbia, a country with a population of around 7.3 million people. Recently, the operator announced a deal with SES for more capacity, as it looks to ramp its DTH/broadcasting play within the country. Telekom Srbija is currently using capacity via SES’ orbital position of 19.2 degrees east to provide DTH transmission of the public TV channels RTS Sat and Radio Beograd across the country. Under the new agreement, Telekom Srbija will use the additional capacity on 23.5 degrees east to feed TV, radio and data services.
Milutin Nikolic, business director, Telekom Srbija, talks about the operator’s business plan and how satellite is helping with the company’s broadcast ambitions within the country.
VIA SATELLITE: What are Telekom Srbija’s demands for satellite capacity? How much capacity do you use?
Nikolic: Our current demands are a bit less than one 36MHz transponder. Reliability, availability and knowledge of SES help us to achieve the best possible quality for our customers. We believe that we will need more capacity soon.
VIA SATELLITE: What is Telekom Srbija’s DTH strategy? How are you looking to develop your video proposition in the market? How many subscribers do you have?
Nikolic: Our main video product is IPTV, used by more than 200,000 customers. As the multimedia segment is experiencing the most growth, Telekom Srbija is looking for ways to extend its portfolio. DTH is one of the possible projects, but we have not decided yet to start it.
VIA SATELLITE: What impact is Over The Top (OTT) broadcasting and streaming technologies having for traditional broadcasting in Serbia?
Nikolic: Besides the other streaming technologies, which already exist in the market, and in line with global trends, OTT is definitely something that is inevitably coming to the Serbian market. On the other hand, bearing in mind all relevant facts such as status and position of terrestrial TV stations – especially national broadcasters – profile of average user and his habits and all other specifics, the general view is that OTT or any other streaming technology in the near future will have no significant impact on the field of traditional broadcasting business.
VIA SATELLITE: What major infrastructure projects is Telekom Srbija working on? What technologies are you looking to implement in your broadcast/telecoms systems over the next 12 months?
Nikolic: SES currently satisfies our broadcast needs. As the project has just started, in some later stage we will examine possibilities for any kind of improvements. Apart from satellite broadcast, Telekom Srbija invests in all other means of infrastructure, aiming to bring the best possible services to our customers.
VIA SATELLITE: How do you use satellite alongside other communications technologies such as wireless and terrestrial in Serbia?
Nikolic: Telekom Srbija mainly relies on terrestrial and mobile technologies as our infrastructure is fully built in metro areas as well as linking different cities within the country. However, we are aware of the importance of satellite technology, mainly as a medium for multimedia broadcast as well as rural communications.
VIA SATELLITE: Finally, what trends do you see emerging in communications in Serbia over the next 12 months?
Nikolic: We expect broadband and multimedia to continue growing, as well as mobile telephony but with smaller rate then the first two segments. Fixed telephony already reached its peak and slow decline is expected in the future. The Serbian market is relatively small with many players and some consolidation, forced also by economic crises, will happen eventually. Nevertheless, we are sure Telekom Srbija will still be telecommunication leader, not only in Serbia, but also in the whole region.