Charles Edward Jennings, senior director – media house at Qatari telco Ooredoo (previously Qtel), on the progress being made with IPTV, his plans to improve the user experience, and the impact over-the-top video is likely to have in the MEA region. He will be speaking at TV Connect MENA this November. For more information about the event, please visit: http://mena.tvconnectevent.com.
Can you update us on Ooredoo’s progress with its IPTV rollout?
Ooredoo Qatar’s IPTV service (‘Mozaic’) is the leading pay-TV service in Qatar and is going from strength to strength.
The launch of a “Next Generation Mozaic” service over 100 Mbps fibre has taken the service to a new level and consequently, for the first time in MENA a pay-TV service is now making significant inroads into free-to-air satellite market share.
How important is fibre going to be to the success of this rollout?
The HD story + Time-shift TV + VOD features are a key competitive advantage and part of the appeal. However fibre will simply help Ooredoo Qatar take the service experience to the next level.
Success to date has largely been built in a pre-fibre environment on the back of a strong ADSL triple-play and “one-stop shop” content customer proposition. So, it is important (as always) not to just get caught up in the technology aspect.
What plans do you have to enhance the user experience side of things?
The Ooredoo Qatar team are trialling multi-screen services and they are also looking to enhance the user experience for legacy ADSL customers who are not yet in fibre-enabled areas.
It is important that we don’t just focus on the “next big thing” for new customers but that we enhance the service experience for our loyal existing customers.
Going forward, the value of the IP return path will be pivotal in helping us enhance and fine-tune an even more personalised viewing experience
What impact do you expect over-the-top video to have in Qatar, and the MEA region generally?
It depends. OTT as a delivery mechanism, will not in and of itself be decisive. It offers great opportunity but as with anything, it will come down to who marries the technological aspects with the right customer-facing value proposition, content offering, pricing and wider user experience.