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Euro 50 > Leaders in broadband and pay-TV

Digital TV Europe November/December 2010

Giorgi Avaliani Senior Manager, product development and management, Virgin Media

making Virgin Media a clear leader and the home of high speed broadband in the UK, as recognised by our customers, competitors and the national industry regulator Ofcom. With video data continuing to grow rapidly and con- sumers using multiple connected devices simultaneously at home, the need for better broadband is increasingly clear.

Surprises of 2010 That video is now the largest proportion of all internet traffic is not such a surprise, but the speed at which it has overtaken all other forms of data is staggering and only shows signs of becoming ever more prevalent.

Virgin Media has continued to go from strength to strength as a provider of broad- band services following the launch of its ultra high-speed 50Mbps and 100Mbps services. Its success is in no small part due to successful product packaging and marketing led by Giorgi Avaliani.

Age 35

Education MSc in Telecommunications Management from Strathclyde Business School and an MBA from Warwick Business School.

Previous positions At Telewest for two years before the company’s merger with NTL and the subsequent creation of Virgin Media in 2007. Worked in various product and strategy roles. Before joining the UK cable industry he set-up, developed and sold a VoIP venture. Prior to this, held a number of strategy and commercial roles within mobile network oper- ations in eastern Europe and the Middle East, and also advised the Georgian National Communications Commission.

Achievements of the year Contributing to

Goals for next year To continue to strength- en Virgin Media’s leadership in broadband and bring to the market exciting apps and services that are powered by our superfast broadband. As the proliferation of next-generation con- nected homes gathers pace, I’m really looking forward to us introducing innovative, simple services that will help consumers easily get the most out of the complex digital world.

Game-changing future development As connected TV develops, the creation of apps has the potential to revolutionise home enter- tainment – providing it is handled well. For example, one app could seamlessly enable the viewing and sharing of family photos or videos on the living room TV. While great program- ming will remain the key reason for switching on the TV, such widgets can bring the power of the internet, its interactivity and the storage capabilities of the cloud, to this social screen.

Ambition as a youngster I wanted to become a piste basher driver and hit the slopes at night. I have actually driven one once and it gave me a great thrill.

Favourite TV show I love chat shows – Friday Night with Jonathan Rossused to be my favourite. Top Gear is also up there amongst my favourites.

Life outside work I’m a keen rugby fan. I’ve stopped playing but coach a mini section at my local rugby club.

Kevin Baughan

Kevin Baughan has been at the forefront of Virgin Media’s work in delivering high-speed broadband. This year, he led trials to deliver broadband via aerial fibre plant to deliver fast broadband economically to rural areas.

Age 52

Education MBA with distinction from Imperial College; MSc in computer science from Aston University; BSc in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Birmingham where he returned as an Honorary Professor from 1999 to 2008.

Previous positions Prior to Virgin Media, co-founded a start up, carrying out research into novel networking technologies for the US Air Force Research Labs. Spent the early years of his career with BT, first in test equip- ment design; followed by a spell in interna- tional standards. Then a move to Nortel Networks, where he held leading roles both in R&D and as chief architect for cable cus- tomers across Europe.

Achievements of the year We’ve put in place two groundbreaking trials this year,

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