NAGRA: “Best way to monetize networks is with video and TV content”

When telecom operators and CSPs look for better monetization opportunities, delivery of great experiences around video and TV content can open up unexplored opportunities for the operators.

Headquartered in Switzerland, NAGRA is a provider and considered by many as a pioneer in provision of TV solutions for satellite, cable and IP networks – the company is in the process of launching IntuiTV, it’s new OTT platform that blends content from linear channels with VOD, with applications like Netflix and YouTube.

At the recently held CommunicAsia 2016 in Singapore, Simon Trudelle, Senior Director, Product Marketing at NAGRA speaks with Zia Askari from about the company’s strategy for the region and how it is planning to IntuiTV in the region.


What are some of the key geographies that you are targeting as an organisation?

As a group, we have over 530 customers worldwide, in all regions and major markets. We provide technology that powers 250 million devices on a daily basis.

It puts us as one of the leaders in the TV solutions space and one of our strengths is in content protection where we are a worldwide leader. We protect for over $90 billion in content across all the operators I mentioned, on a yearly basis.

The Asia Pacific region is a growing region for us. We already have a number of reference customers and advanced deployments.

We’ve also added new customers to our line-up of service providers. For instance, we have a demonstration here of VTVcab, a cable operator in Vietnam, that launched its service in November last year. It’s a cable operator that’s going digital and that will use our technology from the set-top box to the software in the box, to the back-end services, to provide linear television but also Video on Demand and catch-up TV services.

Today a lot of operators are trying to innovate on delivering interesting video services for their customers. In such a scenario, what kind of innovations are you bringing to the market?

One thing that has been a major shift in the industry over the past three or four years has been the emergence of multi-screen television; the ability for service providers to bring the best content they have on all screens from mobile phones, tablets, PCs or game consoles and to provide a consistent experience across all these screens, all the devices including the set-top box. For instance, if you do VOD or catch-up TV you want to have that service available on all devices and that’s what our platform allows service providers to do.

What kind of growth opportunities are you looking at in the coming year and where will this growth come from?

What we see is definitely convergence. Telecom operators are delivering high-bandwidth networks, broadband networks – fixed and mobile. One of the best ways to monetize that network is with video content and TV content.

We see that the number of current content providers or Pay-TV operators are going to leverage telco networks to bring that content everywhere – in the home, outside the home and even on the go, in a way that’s attractive and convenient for consumers.

And that’s why we have announced at the beginning of the year at CES a new product that we’re introducing officially here for Asia Pacific. It’s called IntuiTV, it’s a new platform that actually blends content from linear channels with VOD, with applications like Netflix and YouTube, into a common user experience that makes it very easy for consumers to find the content they love and actually launch it and play it on the big screen or on other screens as well.

So this is basically an OTT service?

It’s an OTT service, delivered from a cloud platform and it’s fully enabled with NAGRA products on the security side, on the user experience side and on the services that are delivered on the platform.

How are you launching it? In what geographies and which countries are you announcing it?

At the moment we’re in the phase where we are bringing this product to market in all regions of the world. We have a number of opportunities that have already been identified in Asia Pacific. Unfortunately, I can’t give more details at the moment but there has been quite a lot of interest expressed at the show for the technology and what it can bring to subscribers.

When do you think this will be launched officially?

At the IBC show, a big event for the broadcast industry, in September, we will provide some more visibility on the launch schedule. We will also bring an updated version of the demo at that time and keep moving the product forward.

Any plans to launch this kind of service in India?

We have seen that the Indian market is definitely waking up to the OTT opportunity and we’ve noticed in the past year a strong acceleration. Broadband availability is the driver. In markets and cities where there is broadbandthere will be extremely interesting opportunities to bring an OTT service and a new experience to the customers.

Today IntuiTV is positioned for high-end customers but at some point the same technology we use can also be deployed on less advanced set-top boxes, for instance. The back-end technology, because it’s cloud-based and scalable, can be used to provide baseline services to a large number of subscribers.