Chris Dziadul previews the Romanian broadband convention.
The Romanian cable industry is undoubtedly one of the big success stories of broadcasting in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. Starting from scratch in the early 1990s, it today provides services to around 60% of the country’s 7 million TV homes despite facing stiff competition from no fewer than five DTH platforms. What is more, the challenges it faces will certainly increase once IPTV services become established and DTT makes its debut.
Yet cable is unlikely to relinquish its dominant position in the Romanian marketplace anytime soon. What is more, its two leading players UPC and RCS/RDS are likely to continue setting the agenda in terms of additional services for the foreseeable future.
One of the reasons Romania’s cable industry today finds itself in such a strong position is the activities of its trade association, the ACC. And its annual broadband convention, due to take place this year in Bucharest on November 13-14, again promises to provide useful insights into the current state of the marketplace and – perhaps even more importantly – its prospects for the future.
Among the subjects to be covered in what will be the 12th such event are: competition in the provision of, as well as equipment and technologies for, video, data and voice services; hurdles to the development and modernisation of the telecommunication infrastructure; and the multitude of TV channels now available in the Romanian market. Alongside this will be an exhibition that has, to date, 35 confirmed participants.
Changes can certainly be expected in Romania’s cable industry and the wider TV marketplace in the months to come. UPC, which has recently been losing subscribers, has already begun moves to speed up the upgrade of its networks and make triple play services more widely available. RCS/RDS is meanwhile preparing to raise additional funds through an IPO in London. Much more will undoubtedly be revealed at the convention, further details of which can be found at: