ARRIS's CALA Executive Leadership Forum recently took place in Miami, Florida. The event brought together executives from operators across Latin America for a lively, interactive exchange around important industry topics. We caught up with ARRIS SVP of CALA Sales, Marcos Takanohashi, for a primer on the opportunities and challenges specific to the region.
What are your top priorities for CALA ELF 2018?
CALA ELF presents an opportunity to turn our complete focus to some of the region's top operators. Our priority is to use our time together to better understand our customers' unique needs. I look at our relationship like a marriage. Our goal is to walk down the path together and be attentive to their requirements all the way. This goes beyond customer service; it's about anticipating what they want and knowing how we can add value.
To that end, another important priority is to continually improve our solutions and services through the expansion of our Wi-Fi and broadband networking capabilities within every home. This is in an effort to transform the overall video and entertainment experience. This is a key opportunity to have our team demonstrate how we innovate in the best interests of our CALA customers.
What initiatives or investments are driving success for operators in the region?
We're seeing immense growth in broadband services, both in the subscriber footprint and in the services themselves. Today, the service isn't about providing only video to the home, but an entire set of broadband-enabled experiences. Several of our customers are expanding both their coverage networks, through the expansion of brownfield, and their existing infrastructure. This translates into direct growth of their addressable market with more consumers.
In terms of investments, we're seeing our customers focus their efforts on upgrading networks to achieve greater capacity and functionality. They're looking into new platforms to enrich the entertainment experience, with services like multiscreen and OTT.
What are major industry trends unique to Latin America?
The region faces a unique average revenue per user (ARPU) challenge, which is very different from the US and other established markets. While subscribers have growing expectations for services, many of our customers must reconcile the cost of delivering these next-gen experiences by carefully managing the integration of new technology into the network.
As far as broadband speeds, we've closed the gap with much of the rest of the world in the past few years. That's enabled the growth in technologies like OTT, which as a segment has broadened out its subscriber base considerably. It's not cannibalizing other entertainment services, per se, but it is creating a new demand for enriched services, like intelligent search mechanisms, multiscreen capabilities, and advanced UIs.
What unique solutions do they require?
We see where the consumer demand is heading and have strategically positioned ourselves to deliver the speeds and capacity that these new services and experiences require. The ARRIS unique advantage in this is that our technology expertise straddles both the operator network and the home network.
ARRIS's rich portfolio, tools, and skills provide operators with the options they need to get where they want to be, which proves to be very powerful, especially on networks with multiple pathways and huge legacy systems. ARRIS provides a sophisticated solution to ensure the success of each of our customers.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities for CALA operators in the coming years?
The biggest opportunity is the coax going to the home, specifically the scalable nature of DOCSIS in its current and future iterations. ARRIS is starting to demo full-duplex DOCSIS capabilities, which is important because it highlights the ability of this common pathway to provide our customers with at least eight to ten years more runway on their existing infrastructure. The technology continues to evolve, and we continue to keep our customers ahead of the curve.
Moreover, we see an opportunity for operators to build new revenue streams with the management of subscriber data and target advertising. Operators are uniquely positioned to leverage their intimate relationship with consumers and have a deep understanding of their needs and behaviors. By building the infrastructure to implement big data tools that can join with artificial intelligence and analytics, operators can target audiences in both TV and OTT services.