Cablenet to launch mo­bile ser­vices ‘within 2016’

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Cablenet’s mar­ket share is com­mend­able, de­spite the fact that you are only a “triple play” provider, as op­posed to your major ri­vals that are quad-play providers. Do you have plans to en­ter the mo­bile mar­ket ag­gres­sively?

We are in fact al­ready of­fer­ing mo­bile ser­vices for some niche mar­kets through our Le­mon­tel brand. We are cur­rently work­ing very hard to fi­nalise our sys­tems, from both a com­mer­cial as well as tech­ni­cal stand­point, to be able to of­fer our ser­vices to mo­bile con­sumers in gen­eral very soon, hope­fully within 2016. Our ex­ist­ing re­tail cus­tomer base shall first have the ca­pa­bil­ity to en­joy value-for-money ser­vices re­sult­ing in sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings, as part of our new 4-play bun­dle prod­ucts. At a later stage we will be de­vel­op­ing scal­able/flex­i­ble ser­vices for the busi­ness sec­tor.

With GO Malta in­creas­ing its share own­er­ship to di­rect con­trol (from 25% to 51% after con­ver­sion of a EUR 12 mln loan), are there any plans to re­name Cablenet to GO Cyprus?

At this point there re­nam­ing Cablenet.

Cablenet’s brand is well recog­nised in Cyprus and en­joys strong cus­tomer loy­alty. We reg­u­larly carry out mar­ket re­search that con­firms that the Cablenet brand has a very

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for high NPS (Net Promoter Score). We do not fore­see that a change in name will be hap­pen­ing in the near fu­ture.

What are the syn­er­gies be­tween Cablenet and GO ever since the Mal­tese com­pany took a 25% stake in 2014? Is there any co­op­er­a­tion with GO’s par­ent com­pany Emi­rates EIT or any other sub­sidiaries (e.g. Forth­net)?

GO’s ac­qui­si­tion of a ma­jor­ity share­hold­ing in Cablenet (51%) did not bring about any im­me­di­ate im­pact on Cablenet’s on­go­ing op­er­a­tions. Our in­vestors have re­peat­edly stated that Cablenet is a well-run busi­ness, which con­tin­ues to per­form strongly in the mar­ket, de­liv­er­ing steady growth in both rev­enue and EBITDA. We cer­tainly see po­ten­tial for fu­ture ini­tia­tives how­ever, and in the medium to long term, Cablenet will def­i­nitely ben­e­fit from be­long­ing to a larger group, within which there may be a num­ber of syn­er­gies.

The main im­me­di­ate ben­e­fit for Cablenet from the in­vest­ment was the funds in­jected into the com­pany. These funds were and will be used fur­ther to im­prove our core com­pe­ten­cies (net­work ex­pan­sion), as well as for new prod­ucts and ser­vices. An­other major area of in­vest­ment is in­ter­na­tional ca­pac­ity, the very life­line of our In­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity. Over the last two years, due to the mas­sive suc­cess of our In­ter­net pack­ages, we have seen a rapid growth of new cus­tomers and we have in­creased our in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tiv­ity by about 300%. We will also be in­vest­ing in new ad­vanced voice sys­tems and of course we will be launch­ing our mo­bile ser­vices very soon.

Re­cently we launched our Cablenet Busi­ness Cloud ser­vices (http://ca­blenet­busi­­ser­vices/) in co­op­er­a­tion with BMIT Ltd, Malta’s lead­ing data cen­tre, cloud and man­aged ser­vices provider, a wholly owned sub­sidiary of GO.

GO be­ing a quad-play op­er­a­tor, also means that they have vast ex­per­tise in mo­bile tele­phony; this can ben­e­fit Cablenet in the near fu­ture, when we will be ready to en­gage in this area.

In a re­cent state­ment, GO Chair­man Deepak Pad­man­ab­han praised Cablenet’s “dou­ble digit growth in both rev­enue and EBITDA”. Can you elab­o­rate?

Cablenet in­deed is fi­nan­cially-prof­itable com­pany with a high level of sus­tain­abil­ity. Since it is a pri­vate com­pany, fi­nan­cial state­ments are not pub­licly avail­able. We can con­firm how­ever Mr. Pad­man­ab­han’s state­ment that in re­cent years we have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing very strong growth as a com­pany.

Will the Busi­ness Di­vi­sion need to hire more peo­ple?

It is in­deed in our plans to ex­pand the Cablenet Busi­ness sales team by hir­ing more peo­ple. To­day the sales team con­sists of 14 peo­ple and we have pro­jected for six new posts in the fu­ture un­til 2017. The Cablenet Busi­ness sales team handles the sales-to­com­mis­sion­ing cy­cle as well as the key ac­count man­age­ment of busi­ness and cor­po­rate cus­tomers.

What is Cablenet’s “ad­van­tage” in the Busi­ness area com­pared to its ri­vals - is it Cloud ser­vices?

Our key dif­fer­en­tia­tor is the fo­cus Cablenet places on the busi­ness sec­tor and on pro­vid­ing all-round so­lu­tions to busi­nesses’ telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion needs. It is not by ac­ci­dent that Cablenet is one of the most dy­nam­i­cally de­vel­op­ing com­pa­nies in Cyprus. With Cablenet Busi­ness, a whole spe­cialised de­part­ment is con­stantly trained and de­vel­oped; our sole pur­pose is to help take any busi­ness to the next level in terms of con­nec­tiv­ity and to stand by its side on its jour­ney to suc­cess, con­vert­ing the com­mu­ni­ca­tion needs of to­day into devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and added value for the fu­ture.

Cablenet is a lead­ing and con­tem­po­rary or­gan­i­sa­tion, the only pri­vately-owned com­pletely in­de­pen­dent telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider in Cyprus, with its own net­work, new gen­er­a­tion in­fra­struc­ture, spe­cialised work­force and a fully in­te­grated sup­port sys­tem for high per­for­mance ser­vices in the tele­coms sec­tor: in­te­grated broad­band ser­vices, premises con­nec­tiv­ity ser­vices on both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional lev­els, fixed tele­phony ser­vices and of course cloud ser­vices and host­ing ser­vices.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is not only about high qual­ity tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture; it is also about in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships. We in­vest in hu­man re­sources with just as much com­mit­ment, re­sult­ing in a fully func­tion­ing per­sonal sup­port sys­tem for busi­ness cus­tomers. We recog­nise the true value of in­ter­per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and are aware that each busi­ness has its par­tic­u­lar­i­ties, which is why Cablenet Busi­ness is equipped with highly skilled and pro­fi­cient pro­fes­sion­als who de­sign busi­ness so­lu­tions based on the spe­cific needs of each or­gan­i­sa­tion, ir­re­spec­tive of size, and are al­ways there to make any nec­es­sary ad­just­ments.

For the mod­ern-day busi­ness­man, tech­ni­cal sup­port is as im­por­tant as the qual­ity of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices he re­ceives. Our prom­ise for con­tin­u­ous and per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion is achieved via a holis­tic and up-to-date sup­port sys­tem avail­able at all times to all Cablenet Busi­ness clients. Ad­di­tion­ally, ev­ery Cablenet Busi­ness cus­tomer has an open line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with us via our ded­i­cated 120 call cen­tre.

Can you elab­o­rate on Cablenet’s mar­ket-share tar­gets, based on Q4 2015 data from the Tele­com Reg­u­la­tor?

We have no pre-de­ter­mined tar­get for mar­ket share. We cur­rently cover about 180,000 homes or 60% of house­holds on the is­land. So even if we tar­get for an ef­fec­tive 50% mar­ket share in our area of cov­er­age, that trans­lates to an over­all mar­ket share of only about 30%. Of course we have plans to ex­pand our cov­er­age to other ar­eas, such as ru­ral Ni­cosia, Limassol and Lar­naca, and even­tu­ally to Paphos, over the next few years, so nat­u­rally our ex­pected mar­ket share should in­crease.

See­ing as Cyprus and Malta are both lead­ing mar­itime economies, does the Cablenet/GO part­ner­ship plan to pro­vide ser­vices that are cus­tom-made for the ship­ping com­mu­nity? (Sat com, on-board wifi, etc.)

At this point there are no plans to de­velop cus­tom-made mar­itime prod­ucts. We are strongly fo­cus­ing in pro­vid­ing elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices on land, with both fixed and mo­bile. One of the key in­gre­di­ents of our suc­cess has been our fo­cus on do­ing just the things that we can do ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently. Such cus­tom-made mar­itime ser­vices re­quire a lot of spe­cialised knowhow, that com­pa­nies other than Cablenet are much bet­ter po­si­tioned to de­liver.

What is the “next step” ei­ther for Cablenet? Where is the tech­nol­ogy headed?

The tech­nol­ogy be­hind telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions is con­stantly evolv­ing, at an ever-in­creas­ing pace. Any com­pany in the tele­com sec­tor that fails to keep up with this tech­nol­ogy change will be left be­hind. There­fore, we are con­stantly in­vest­ing a sig­nif­i­cant part of our prof­its into new tech­nolo­gies. Our im­me­di­ate tar­get is to up­grade our ca­ble net­work to the next pro­to­col for data de­liv­ery over ca­ble, specif­i­cally to DOCSIS 3.1. This will give us the ca­pa­bil­ity to of­fer con­nec­tion speeds that can reach 1 Gbps. Also, in­creas­ingly, fixed line net­works are mi­grat­ing con­stantly to all­fi­bre de­signs. This is some­thing we are pur­su­ing too, by con­stantly eval­u­at­ing the types of net­work that we roll out into green field ar­eas and by im­prov­ing our ex­ist­ing net­work into deeper fi­bre ar­chi­tec­tures in brown field ar­eas.

Aside from the in­fra­struc­ture, ev­ery com­pany is a soft­ware com­pany. This is an area where we as Cablenet are heav­ily in­vested in, by hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant and ac­tive devel­op­ment de­part­ment for the com­pany’s in­ter­nal sys­tem needs. This is prob­a­bly the area that we would be look­ing to in­vest in by ac­quir­ing other com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing po­ten­tially start-ups.

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