KIT digital working on 11 Latin American TV Projects
This article, by Phil Anderson, originally ran in Business News Americas
Video management software provider KIT digital expects to end 1H13 with 11 commercially active OTT or IPTV projects in Latin America, executives told BNamericas.
“We have 10 large infrastructure projects going on now, apart from [already active] Telecom Argentina,” said Charlie Deane, KIT digital’s OTT solutions director for Spanish-speaking markets. “Some are very advanced, already in internal beta-testing today. There are others that are going live in 2-3 months, and others for which we’re discussing terms, with no agreements finalized yet. We can expect them to be happening by year-end or in the first and second quarters next year.”
The company established its client footprint in the region during 2011, gaining such names as The Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (ZNS Network), Merville Lynch Productions, Telecom Argentina (NYSE: TEO), Clarín, Hosanna Visión, Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God), Victory in Christ Ministry and Avivamiento.
This led to the installation of offices in Miami and Buenos Aires, and the hiring of Alvaro Gazzolo as sales VP for OTT video solutions in the region.
Telecom Argentina is the most prominent of these clients, launching its OTT service in October 2011 with expectations to attract 40,000 subscribers over the following 12 months. At present, Telecom has 1.6mn broadband clients.
Asked whether this type of offering could force the Argentine government’s hand, to allow telcos to offer true triple play, KIT digital lead global analyst Alan Wolk pointed out that technology itself could present this opportunity before the government makes the change.
“We recently acquired a company called Sezmi that pioneered the use of over-the-air HD signals, repackaging them in a more consumer-friendly format,” Wolk said. “Technologically it would be possible for Telecom to offer something like that.”
Deane said: “This would allow them to do live linear digital TV, but there are internal considerations as to how they would deploy it. When offering live and on demand, it’s much more efficient to have a hybrid solution using the airwaves for the live portion by compressing and splitting the available UHF bands, whilst keeping the broadband pipes open for video on demand.” He added that the desire to watch whatever you want whenever you want is very potent in Argentina.