On January 29, the 21st international exhibition and forum, CSTB. Telecom & Media’2019, kicked off in Moscow. For three days, leaders of the industry had an opportunity to meet and share the latest achievements in the telecommunication and television markets. This year’s exhibition was housed in two large halls in Pavilion 2 at the Crocus Expo international exhibition center, traditionally bringing together federal and regional operators, the largest media holdings, popular Russian television channels, equipment and software producers. This year’s event was attended by its permanent participants and new companies, which definitely had something to show.
Some positive changes have been made to the Forum’s agenda to provide practical benefits to the participants,who were able to share experience with their partners (for the first time in the history of CSTB Telecom & Media, the discussions of current issues involved Russian and foreign experts) and get unique professional information.
The agenda started with a roundtable discussion The Digital Transformation of Telecom and Media Industry, which brought together Diana Samoshkina of Rostelecom, Roman Stolyarsky (Red Media), Leonid Savkov (Yandex), AlexeiYanchishin (National Media Group), Mikhail Kovalchuk (Signal Media), Alexander Kosarim (Rostelecom/ Media Telecom), Alexei Yefimov(Channel One. Global Network), Pavel Anisimov (Digital Economy autonomous non-profit organization), Robert Gndolyan (Digital Television), Vyacheslav Nikolayev (MTS), Kirill Makhnovsky (Orion Group of Companies), and Yanzing (Huawei) – that is, representatives of major companies that steer the industry’s development and influence the course of events in the field of TV and telecoms. President of the Russian Cable Television Association Yury Pripachkin, one of the moderators of the round table discussion, explained why issues addressed at this meeting are of such importance for the market players and the future of their business: The current situation in the industry is linked to deeper changes underway in the economy, in the political model, and in the relationships between citizens and the government, he said. The relations now developing between the services and the new species of contemporary humans generally described as “homo gadgetus” is what we should call the digital economy.
As a starting point for the discussion, Rostelecom’s Diana Samoshkina provided an overview of the market, pointing out a significant increase in the digital divide in different regions as a result of technological progress, greater access to mobile networks and the penetration of smartphones and tablets. Individual consumption of content also transforms the telecom market, according to the expert. The next step on the way to a digital future is the development of assistant apps that would help consumers navigate through a great variety of offers, she added.
Alexei Yanchishin (National Media Group) emphasized that content remains the focus and driving force of development, so creating exclusive content is what will enable companies to remain competitive. This, in turn, will influence the development of distribution formats.
Evaluating the domestic TV-market potential, Mihail Kovalchuk concluded that it is commensurate with the Taiwanese market in terms of volume, with no prospects for expanding further right now. The new media market is still in its infancy, the expert said. Therefore, he suggested analyzing consumer preferences to decide how to develop and deliver services and solutions.
Robert Gndolyan of DTV believes that if someone wants to stay in the market, they should start producing their own content or find someone to rely on in this area.
Another moderator of the discussion, Yana Churikova, reminded the audience that Yandex corporation uses the latter model: Instead of developing its own content production, the company invests in specific content projects. Leonid Savkov, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, confirmed that the model is viable and effective and cited the example of the Yandex Zen app.
Alexei Yefimov from Channel One Global Network added that consumers do not really care who supplies the content. What they are interested in is a set of digital services. Pavel Steshin (Tricolor) agreed that future consumers are likely to mostly appreciate unique content and might be even willing to pay for it, but above all, they will value ease of access and will not display special loyalty or preferences; they will keep watching large-screen TVs. Kirill Makhnovsky (Orion Group of Companies), on the contrary, found it difficult to compile a generalized image of a future consumer, because there are no two viewers or subscribers with similar preferences.
Summing up the problem of digitalizing the industry, Roman Stolyarsky (Red Media) suggested the process would have a deferred nature for the time being, because some Russian regions still have a problem with 3G networks, let alone 4G. Yanzing of Huawei spoke about the potential influence the 5G networks development is going to have on the industry. According to the expert, 5G is more about industrial Internet, IoT, and the B2B sector; it affects the improvement of consumer experience to a lesser extent. However, as one of the speakers noted, the Russian digital economy program includes a clearly formulated concept of 5G development and even a specific date for the deployment of such networks in million-plus cities.
Marcus East, a digital expert with experience in Marks and Spencer and Apple, co-founder of CyberKudos, spoke on the first day of the forum at the invitation of Tricolor. His speech was full of insights and outlined a digital future for every inhabitant of the planet – something that will dramatically change the economy in a very short term. Svetlana Mironyuk (of the Skolkovo School of Management) moderated the session.
According to Marcus East, there are eight key technologies that are already changing the world irrevocably: Smart assistants, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, the blockchain and cryptocurrency, robotics, 5G, e-health, and artificial intelligence. East posed a reasonable question: Are you ready for this? Are your companies ready for this? These markets are growing, and those who ignore these innovations will sooner or later be left behind – like those who have not gone digital to date.
In between business events, CSTB Telecom & Media 2019 business program participants could visit the exhibition, which the participating companies prepared no less carefully than the business part. Interactive displays, breakthrough technologies, the announcement of new TV projects and TV channels – all this was present. Without exaggeration, it was a showcase of the industry’s giants, high-profile brands and top telecom and TV holding companies such as Tricolor, NTV-PLUS, Orion, Irdeto, CDNvideo, Smotryoshka, Vintera.TV, TVzavr, GS LABS, SPB TV, GS Group, SmartLabs, Universal Communications, Kontur-M, TelCo Group, Channel One Global Network, Digital Television, VIACOM, NTV Television Company, Time Media Group, Media Alliance, Dikoye, FOX Networks Group, NHK World JAPAN, 1TVCH, RTVi, Universal Distribution, Red Media, Moskva 24, RBC TV, MTRK MIR, SES, Globecast, Eutelsat SA, Russian Satellite Communications Company, Gazprom Space Systems and many others.
CSTB Telecom & Media lasted until January 31 and included the OTT-Future Forum, the Content Summit Russia, the Communication Operators Forum, the Multiservice Satellite Networks and VSAT session, as well as legal consultations in the area of telecom and media.
The CSTB Telecom & Media 2019 exhibition and forum is organized with the support of the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, the Digital Economy autonomous non-profit organization, Moscow’s Department of Information Technology, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Moscow’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the International Association of Broadcast & Media Technology (IABM), IBC, Moscow Small Business state enterprise, and with the general support of the Russian Cable Television Association.
Main partner: Huawei. Strategic partner: Tricolor. Official partner of the forum: National Media Group. Partner: Kontur-M, Forum Partner: Viacom
For more information on CSTB Telecom & Media 2019 exhibition and forum, please visit www.cstb.ru