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Q&A: Julien Ducarroz, Orange Romania

Julien Ducarroz

Julien Ducarroz

Orange Romania’s chief commercial officer Julien Ducarroz talks to DTVE about the company’s recently launched multiscreen TV platform.

What are the challenges in launching multiscreen TV in Romania?

The decision to launch Orange TV in Romania was taken after extensive research, both among Orange and non-Orange customers, on consumption trends and also after running focus groups to identify customers’ needs and expectations. One thing we’ve noticed is Romanians continue to watch linear TV on their TV sets and they’re doing this intensely, for 5.5 hours every day on average. At the same time, they are beginning to watch more video content on mobile devices. If we look at the last month, video and audio streaming represented about 30% of traffic on our 3G network. So we have the TV, that people are using a lot when sitting comfortably on their couches to watch live channels, and  mobile devices that are increasingly used on the move to watch video. Therefore we are the only operator in Romania that will be offering, under one TV subscription, the overall multiscreen lean-back and lean-forward experience. We are focusing on the quality of the services that we offer to customers and educating the market about the benefits of multiscreen in their day-to-day lives. For sure, the Romanian market is challenging. It’s very crowded – 85% of households were already paying for TV when Orange entered the market and there were already three big providers – it’s still dominated by traditional TV habits and it’s very price sensitive. But at the same time Romanians are attracted to mobile data, to new technologies and new devices. We have invested a lot in both coverage and the quality of our network these last years, which led to  really big growth in mobile data consumption. With the extension of 4G, known for its huge benefits in video, we are betting on increasing the taste for accessing favourite content anytime, on any screen. And we are also betting on quality, as we are turning classical watching TV on the TV into a whole new experience, through the biggest number of HD channels, our strong satellite signal and the professional assistance we are offering.

How will Orange’s multiscreen offering differ from its satellite service? 

Orange TV customers can already choose the subscription that suits their needs, from three standalone subscriptions, each giving access to channels for multiple screens: TV, PC/laptop and soon smartphone and tablet. The entry level subscription, Local HD, offers 36 Romanian channels including six in HD, among which are the most watched for this market. Fourteen of them are available on multiple screens, while the standard price of the package is ?5. The mid-level subscription, World HD, includes 65 channels – 19 in HD – both local and international, in all genres: news, movies, documentary, sports, lifestyle. Twenty-eight of the 65 channels are available on computers as well. Universe HD is the premium subscription with 95 channels, out of which 37 are HD and 29 are multiscreen.  The ?12 monthly fee is comparable with prices available in the market, while the biggest number of HD channels in other offers is 14. These prices are standard, as customers with Orange subscriptions for telecom services can benefit from a 20% or 30% discount.

Is multiscreen complementary or an alternative to satellite TV?

Orange TV was designed to be multiscreen. This is a main differentiation, alongside the focus on quality of the experience and the biggest number of HD channels. The OTT component helps us complement the DTH part of the service, in order to offer customers replay function and on-demand content, beside the ability to watch content on the go.

What devices will it be offered on?

Orange’s TV service is already offered for TVs and computers and from this autumn will also be available on smartphones and tablets. Any customer choosing a subscription for one of these packages will have access to channels offered in his package, as each includes a number of channels for TV only and also channels offered for multiple screens.

What is Orange’s goal with the TV service as a whole?

Launching TV is the natural direction of growth and development for telcos in the European market. Part of our goal is to create a new experience for TV users in the Romanian market – and we have achieved this by creating and launching Orange TV. Next is to ensure the growth of the service and keep our customers happy. At present Orange customers can choose from various offers including telephony, internet and access to Orange Cloud. For TV, they can choose the package that suits their needs and habits, from the three standalone TV packages, each giving access to channels for multiple screens: TV, PC/laptop and soon smartphone and tablet. We are offering flexibility in terms of choices and options related to TV, giving both customers using Orange telecom services and customers choosing other telecom providers the opportunity to try our new service.

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