KATV1 President: Azerbaijan's digital television market ready for introduction of HDTV (INTERVIEW)

KATV1 President: Azerbaijan's digital television market ready for introduction of HDTV (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 21 / Trend H.Valiyev /

Trend interviewed President of the cable television KATV1 Samir Gurbanov.

Trend: What are the dynamics of development of the Azerbaijani market of cable television? What are the features of its development?

Gurbanov: The concept of legal cable television came to Azerbaijan in 2005 with receive of license from the National Broadcasting Council on the activities of cable television KATV1. This date may be considered the date of birth of cable movement in our country. I would like to note that this year we will hold several events on the fifth anniversary of the establishment of our company and cable movement in the country as a whole. These activities have already been launched in the form of activities held by our company to its subscribers and potential subscribers.

Talking about the features of the development of cable television, one must take into account several factors influencing this process. Like everywhere else in the market, demand-supply scheme operates here. That is proposal must take into account the needs of the client (in this case, the subscriber of cable television), and its solvency. The right mix of price - quality - content - this is the key to success in the field of cable television.

Q: What is the company's development strategy for the coming year? Do you plan to start new projects?

A: The development of our company can be divided into two parts - the quantitative and qualitative. Speaking about the first, I could note the expansion of coverage of our network. We have managed to include in it several residential districts of Baku in 2010. Moreover, the cabling mechanism was changed at the Baku City Executive Power request. As a result of the work in the majority of the buildings the subscribers switched to inner cabling. Thus, we were able to improve the quality of broadcasting, as well as to prepare our network to introduce new services, which will soon be able to take advantage of our subscribers.

Q: Please, tell us about projects that your company has implemented. What is the reason for their success?

A: Our company broadcasts in analog and in digital format. Subscribers of digital broadcasting have the opportunity to use EPG - Electronic Program Guide in our network. Also KATV1 is the founder of the weekly newspaper of the same name with the programs for the week reflecting the majority of TV channels and r useful materials for our customers and friends of reading newspapers. The company has own website with the possibility of online-broadcasting channels included in our packages. The company's call centers are open around the clock services for our subscribers.

The reason for our success can be considered a successful value, content, stability of the company, as well as expediting services.

Q: The company is represented in Baku. Do you plan to expand in the regions?

A: Provision of services in the country's regions is a priority of our activities. Currently work is underway to establish a broadcast in the Mingechevir cxity and adjacent territories.

A cable television SNTV created with the active participation of our company has been operating in the Sumgait city for several years.

Q: How do you plan to develop business on a regional level? How difficult and expensive to create own infrastructure in the regions?

A: The development of any commercial project in a given region depends on several factors. These include the economic development of the region itself, working conditions there, psychological and material readiness of the population of the region to the submission of specific services.

The State and President Ilham Aliyev hold wide-ranging works on the development of regions. Several state programs on this issues have been adopted. We observe dynamic development in the country's regions. And any economic development means the expansion of services provided in the region. We are confident that our regions are ready to master the technological innovations such as cable television.

Q: At present, the Government implements a program of digitalization of on-air broadcasting. Can air broadcasters compete with cable broadcasters?

A: Yes, the state program for the transition to digital broadcasting by 2013 has been adopted. But we can not consider air television as competitor in any of its form. We work in different segments of the telecommunications market. Our company is glad for development of technology development and introduction of new products in the world market in all segments of the television activity.

Q: How will transition to digital broadcasting take place?

- In any matter one must adhere to the principle of a systematic, planned and evolutionary development. For over two years the state program for the transition to digital television has been working consistently. TVs supporting the required format are on sale. Test broadcasting  of digital television is underway. In other words, the country's population becomes more ready to use this technology each day.

Regarding the digital broadcasting in the networks of cable television KATV1, as I said, since 2009, we offer our customers a package of TV channels in very different tastes.

Q: What technologies will influence the development of the Azerbaijani market of cable television in the near future?

A: With the emergence of new technologies on the world market, our cable television, designed to facilitate the integration of our community to the global telecommunications community, actively trying to introduce them in some of its services. Soon we will present broadband cable Internet to our subscribers first in the local market. That is, any subscriber of the cable television KATV1 will be able to enter a worldwide network through the same cable that he uses to view the channels.

Also we intend to launch projects such as "video on demand", "online games" and much more.

Q: Do you expect appearance of services of relaying high-definition television in the company's portfolio?

A: Yes, soon we will present our subscribers a package of television channels broadcasting in this format. Results of our market research showed that our subscribers are interested in this service and wait for the appearance of such a package.

Q: Is the Azerbaijani digital TV market ready for the introduction of high-definition broadcasting - HDTV? What are the prospects for high-definition television in our country?

A: The Azerbaijani market, rather part of it, is already ready for this, moreover, requires the introduction of this service. If there is a demand, there should be a proposal -an firm rule of the market. Regarding the prospects of this direction, I'm sure, this segment will soon be very popular.

Q: Do you hold talks with the Azerbaijani mobile operators to provide content for the introduction of mobile TV services?

A: Such talks are held with one of the mobile operator of Azerbaijan. I would not like to call the operator before the end of the negotiation process.

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