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Euro 50 > Leaders in broadband and pay-TV

Digital TV Europe November/December 2010

Dragan Solak Chairman of the board, SBB Serbia Broadband; Telemach Bosnia and Herzegovina; Telemach Slovenia

SBB is one of the fastest growing cable opera- tors in Europe. Backed by Mid Europa Partners, and headed by Dragan Solak, the Serbian operator has consolidated cable in Slovenia and, more recently, in Bosnia. SBB Serbia Broadband, Telemach Slovenia and Telemach Bosnia and Herzegovina are now the leading operators in their respective countries.

Age 46 Education University degree.

Previous positions Founder and CEO, SBB Serbia Broadband.

Achievements of the year We continued with the further consolidation of the cable business in the region by acquiring three plat-

forms in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a few more in the pipeline. All our platforms, even the recently acquired ones in Bosnia, are already running a full range of services. VOD is scheduled to be added in the fourth quarter for Serbia and Slovenia and in the first quarter of 2011 for Bosnia. In the first year under our management, last year’s acquisition Telemach from Slovenia had a year of organic growth after six years of decline. As we consider supe- rior content to be a cornerstone of our suc- cess, the group managed to secure exclusive rights for the English Premier League for the whole region of ex-Yugoslavia over the next three years.

Game-changing future development IP is in the centre of everything. Presently, the sales of bundled offers are driven by content. The

ability to provide a variety of content in a vari- ety of formats, the best channels and pro- grammes as linear or on-demand services, in SD and HD, is the differentiating factor. Technologies to do so over IP are quickly emerging and becoming very user friendly. A few IP boxes are already on the market. The nature of IP is to be distributed and difficult to control. Will we cease to be the gatekeepers? That is a billion dollar question I keep asking myself every day… If we turn into simple pipe – bandwidth – providers, with a direct connec- tion between content and the customer, life will be much less fun. The game is changing.

Ambition as a youngster I had many. The most characteristic was to be the world’s fastest man. It didn’t last very long. Vanished after my first international appearance…

Tanja Tatomirovi´c Corporate communications director, SBB Serbia Broadband

When the Eutelsat W2 satellite malfunctioned at the end of January, blacking out as many as a half a million of TV screens across the Adria region, Tanja Tatomirovi´

c used interactive

communications and social networks to keep Serbia Broadband subscribers in the loop.

Age 37 Education MSc in communication

Previous positions PR advisor at the Supreme Commercial Court, Republic of Serbia; PR manager for the board of directors, HIP Petrochemicals Pancevo, the largest Serbian exporter

Achievements of the year One of the high- est points of my personal life was the book I wrote on radio as a communicational tool. The major achievement of my professional career at SBB was the handling of the crisis commu- nication campaign during the Eutelsat W2 satellite failure, at the beginning of 2010. The failure caused loss of signal to more than a million households. During the process I learned a lot about the benefits of integrated

cross-channel communication and its impor- tance in reaching the audience. Successful all- channel communication employed by the SBB team allowed us to quickly reach a large num- ber of our subscribers and successfully navi- gate out of the crisis leaving our customers well informed at all times, which is a key ele- ment in such sensitive situations.

Surprises of 2010 The rising importance of digital PR and the rapid shift from classic com- munication tools to digital.

Goals for next year On a personal level I plan to pursue a PhD degree in communica- tions. I hope I will be able to use the best of the advanced technologies available at my company and introduce our market to all the benefits of digital TV and internet. With the lowest average salary in the region, Serbia is slow in accepting new technologies. SBB has introduced a new world of possibilities with its services and we are now a step ahead of our competition. The upcoming introduction of our new digital services will give us enough time to familiarise our market and allow SBB to be the company to lead the country in to the digital

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