It’s not often we see the simultaneous launch of a DTH platform in three markets.
In fact, the last time, certainly in Central and Eastern Europe, was probably the debut of UPC Direct in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in September 2000.
Which is why the new service shortly to be launched by Telekom Srbija and SES in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro is something of a milestone. It is also undoubtedly a game-changer for both companies.
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch announcement earlier this week in Belgrade and so had the opportunity to delve deeper into the significance of the launch. What was clear from the onset is that both Telekom Srbija and SES see the new platform as a major step, not only in their on-going co-operation but also overall strategy. For Telekom Srbija, the new platform will significantly strengthen its TV business and also mark an important expansion into two neighbouring Balkan markets. It will in addition be the latest in a series of important developments, including the acquisition of Serbia’s second largest cable operator Kopernikus Technology earlier this month.
For SES, on the other hand, the development of such a platform with an important partner like Telekom Srbija is precisely the way the company wants to develop in the CEE region.
Details of the platform are still sketchy, other than it will be distributed from SES’s key orbital position at 23.5 degrees East and offer over 150 TV channels, many in HD, However, more will certainly become known in the next few weeks.
There are several launch dates being considered, with one being mid-December, but the aim is to get it up and running by the end of the year. Its debut will certainly be one of the highlights of 2018 for both Telekom Srbija and SES.