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ses platform services SPS’ strategy is two-fold, explains

Urner: “As an uplink facility you have a dual role, one aspect being almost like a factory with fixed routines and established processes. SPS does a great job in this aspect, but also carrying out the second role which is staying up-to-date, investing in the latest technologies as well as planning for the future. Over the years we have to improve the SES position as regards services, and this will make us more attractive to clients, and we have to make sure that all our teleports are up to this same SPS standard, and this includes fibre links. This applies also for teleports we are partnering with. We can then serve our customers with solutions that they want not only in Europe but around the world.” Urner continued: “There are some

parts of the world that we, as SPS, cannot uplink to. At SES we might own teleports but perhaps we don’t have uplinks to this or that satellite. So we have to think about how we might upgrade the teleports that SES owns and operates all around the world in order to supply much more flexibility for clients. Perhaps we have to improve the links we have with third-party teleports to improve connectivity for our clients.” Urner admits that not every

broadcaster will want the SPS-level of service. “You can offer someone a Rolls Royce-type service, but perhaps they want something less expensive and we can manage that. However, if you only have a smelly old Trabant as a business model, which might - if you are lucky - still get you from A to

B, then you can never upgrade. We decided to be positioned here in Germany to serve our backbone customers such as Sky Deutschland and the likes of Pro7. In addition we can and do offer extremely competitive services but accepting there are some add-on charges that entirely reflect what the client might want or would consider essential.” Urner says the whole broadcasting

scene is changing, and fast. “The consumer is changing his behaviour in terms of content, for example, and how media is consumed. On the one hand we have an increased perception of on-demand content, and the other is seen as the traditional linear distribution models. On-demand might end up being seen as the source for movies and ‘catch-up’ programming, while linear might be the model for big events, sports, reality programming and talk-shows, and such like. But broadcasters also have to change their focus in order to keep audiences watching. It is no longer enough to buy a nice movie and screen it during the evening. They have to have much more in the way of primary entertainment to hold onto a viewer’s attention. Of course, a good broadcaster has some subsidiary channels where alternate programming can also be offered. This has proved to be a sound business model, and mix this in with some interactivity and this also helps. As to today’s hype, and the suggestions that everyone will move from linear to non-linear, well I just do not believe this will be the case.”

content distribution

Overseas expansion for SPS

[We might] include any number of incentives, or capacity agreements, or service bundles. This might include ensuring that the client gets to market a little sooner, or help with their business models, or aid them with their technology development. There’s lots we can do. Wilfred Urner, CEO


“We have been part of SES since 2004. We see ourselves playing a much more active role on behalf of SES in expanding SPS services from [Europe] and matching the supply of those services wherever SES has a major position. This will certainly mean North America, because it already happens there, and the same with India and Asia, and increasingly over Africa and Latin America. The expectation of the core business of SES, that is the bandwidth specialist, is increasing every day to include the services and the expertise that we have. The expectation is that we support our bandwidth colleagues from the first moment of an enquiry and back them up and supply them with help so that they can talk a more complete service than just naked supply of MHz into a region. To help with this, SPS now has people on the ground in some of our overseas offices and they are skilled people with excellent knowledge of their local markets but also able to call upon our skills and experiences whenever and wherever necessary. They now know that they have a willing satellite operator in SES that’s looking to expand and they can talk both to potential clients and to existing clients as to how we can help them.” Stephane Goebel, VP/sales, global, SPS. l september/october 2012 l ibe l 9

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