Slovenia’s STN is undoubtedly one of Central and Eastern Europe’s big success stories in the broadcast over satellite sector in recent years.
Founded in 2004, it has developed into a global company, providing the means to help clients reach Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and North Africa with their services.
On a visit to the family-run company earlier this week, I was able to see at first hand the progress it has made since 2009, when it moved into its new headquarters near Ljubljana.
Speaking in an introduction, Andrej Lovsin, STN’s CEO, said that it already distributes over 450 channels, with the number set to increase to 600 by next year. Furthermore, while it has undertaken a lot of new projects, it still continues to provide a number of ‘conventional’ services, including as a teleport.
He also made the point that one of its key advantages is flexibility: STN is its own systems integrator and always has been.
Meanwhile, Mitja Lovsin, STN’s sales and marketing director, spoke specifically with me about the company’s recent and new projects.
He revealed that Sony approached it around two years ago with a request to do localisation. Despite some initial reluctance – “we said it was not our line of business” – STN eventually did so by through some local ad insertions for AXN.
This was extremely well received and in no time at all STN had more prospective clients knocking on its door, with all coming to them looking for playout facilities. Indeed, it now provides services to around 10 channels, with two more likely to be added to the list by July 15.
Mitja Lovsin also spoke at some length about the company’s growing activities in Africa and in particular with Chinese-based Startimes.
The latter has been a customer for six years and specifically sought out STN to help it launch a new DTH platform in sub-Saharan Africa. STN was able at short notice to provide the uplink, using Ka-band in Astra’s SES 5 satellite, and Startimes is currently hoping to secure two more transponders to help expand the service.
Mitja Lovsin also revealed that STN is involved in helping to launch a French-speaking DTH platform. It is currently in the process of selecting satellites – the region is difficult to cover on Ka – and the service, offering 80-120 channels, should be up and running within the next 12 months.
Furthermore, he discussed Telemtery, Tracking & Control (TT&C), and how STN is using the redundant side to support satellite owners.
The key message from Mitja Lovsin was that the company does not want to do anything outside its scope and to essentially grow what it has today.
Meanwhile, when asked about where he saw the company in five or ten years time, Andrej Lovsin spoke about the possibility of acquisitions.