Romtelecom can with some justification claim to be something of a pioneer in the Central and East European television marketplace.
Unlike most other telcos in the region, it made its first real foray in the sector not via IPTV but DTH, launching a platform that despite being a late entrant quickly made its presence felt. So much so, in fact, that three years after its launch in late 2006 it had already secured 850,000 subscribers, placing it in number two spot behind the market leader RCS&RDS.
More recently, Romtelecom played a crucial role in consolidating the Romanian DTH market in the first quarter of last year by acquiring Boom TV and AKTA from the DTH Television Group and Digital Cable Systems (DCS) respectively and subsequently integrating them into its own operation, named Dolce.
Romtelecom also became a player in what was and is still a relatively undeveloped IPTV market – even by regional standards – in December 2009 with the launch of its Dolce Interactiv platform.
Just as importantly, it re-entered the cable market through a wholly owned subsidiary named NextGen Communications which has grown in the last couple of years through the acquisition of a number of smaller operators.
Indeed, NextGen Communications is now one of the largest providers of cable services in Romania after RCS&RDS, UPC Romania and DCS and Romtelecom continues to invest heavily in the company.
While Romtelecom has not been immune to the difficult economic conditions currently prevailing in Europe and in particular the Balkan region – its backer OTE is in fact in the process of selling off some of its assets – its TV operations continue to perform well. Just this week, for instance, it reported that its total TV subscriber total as of the end of the first quarter was 1,190,721, an 11.8% increase of the same period last year.
Insights into Romtelecom and its plans for the future will be provided Peter Terpak, the company’s product marketing and TV business director, at the upcoming Bucharest Business Breakfast on May 22.
He will be one of several speakers on the future of digital TV in Romania.
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