BT Broadcast Services Revamps Asia Strategy

By | July 30, 2003 | Feature

BT Broadcast Services CEO Mark Smith is convinced that in a couple of years the satellite solutions provider could be generating more revenues from the Asia-Pacific region than from Europe. Smith told Interspace in an exclusive interview: “In 12 months from now, I expect Asia will be challenging Europe in terms of revenues from the larger countries. It could well get to 50 per cent of Europe very quickly given the speed it is going. I don’t see any reason why it could not overtake Europe in the next couple of years.”

BT Broadcast Services, a provider of terrestrial and satellite-based multimedia transmission solutions, is hoping to gain an early mover advantage in the market. Smith believes current trends in telecoms services indicates the time could be right for satellite solutions to make more of an impact. “We are getting to the stage where the number of players and customers in the mobile market are becoming gigantic. There is, therefore, a need for media and content. If you look at areas such as sports and news, there is a demand to have local language coverage of these foreign events and distribute it into places like China and Southeast Asia.”

He continued: “These are areas where people are clamouring for knowledge. There is a shortage of an information flow out there and I just think it will happen. The GDP and net wealth of individuals is increasing dramatically and at some point in time it will take off.”

To tap this potential demand for news and media services in Asia, BT Broadcast Services has revamped its strategy in recent months. It has appointed a director of operations in Asia, Andrew Gibson, to take charge of operations in the region. Previously, operations in Asia had been integrated into the core European operations. But, the growth rates BT is experiencing in the region has meant a change in approach. Smith admitted: “We have got the U.S., European hinterland and then we have got an Asian hinterland now all focused on businesses. The growth rates we are seeing out of Asia are very good. Year-on-year, it is growing by 250 per cent in terms of revenues.”

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