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 Growth during Recession

More than 200 small and medium operators from across Russia met in Moscow on 13 May to join the Russian National Forum “COMMUNICATIONS IN A BIG CITY”. They agreed that medium-sized operator business has a good opportunity to develop and grow, even in the face of the economic recession, due to such factors as the new cloud and OTT services, business diversification connected with project integration, correctly arranged bundled services, and the readiness to adopt high speeds.
The new COMNEWS event was organized in partnership with the largest club of Moscow carriers “ClubCOM.Rf”. COMMUNICATIONS IN A BIG CITY forum was particularly focused on the urge of the leading national providers to cooperate with small and medium market players.
The partner of the forum was MegaFon, the strategic partner – Mastertel. Sagemcom, Rotek, Filanko Group of Companies and VAS Experts became the bronze sponsors. The forum was held with the participation of such companies as Lifestream (Smotreshka), Nauka-Svyaz, Gorsvyaz. The internet partner of the forum was the Coordination Center for TLD RU (Coordination Center for domains .RU/.РФ), the IT partner – MFI Soft, the general exhibitor – Anritsu Corporation. The forum was endorsed by the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC), the Association of strategic outsourcing “ASTRA”, the International Telecommunication Academy (ITA), ”, the Association of Regional Telecom Operators (ARTO), the Moscow Center of International Business Assistance (MCIBA). More than 40 federal media and professional web portals became the information partners of the forum.
The first session
of “Broadband Access in a Big City” was opened by Konstantin Ankilov, CEO of the research company TMT Consulting. Konstantin Ankilov highlighted some modern challenges faced by the market which is developing along with rapid technological progress and economic recession.
The experience of growing in difficult economic conditions was shared by Denis Gulevich, Director of Sales in the Mass Market, Net By Net Holding (NETBYNET). In particular, Denis Gulevich said, “It is not productive to see new connections as a growth factor. The general direction of operator business growth this year is the correct packaging of services”.
Ilya Astakhov, Director of Network and Platform Development Department, AKADO, characterized the business of a complex operator and integrator – a company organizing not only fixed broadband networks for cities and large events, but also providing bundled services related to design and construction, including data processing centers, specialized accounting systems for the power industry and housing and utilities sector. “An operator must have a broader view, providing not only communication channels and internet. An operator can solve a whole range of client’s ICT tasks, also using a service-based approach. It’s necessary to stop selling and start serving”, highlighted Ilya Astakhov.
Bertrand Pascual, Area Sales Manager, Sagemcom, described the trends and ultra-broadband access services based on various technologies (GPON, Docsis. FTTB, Wi-Fi). “Household connections with speeds up to 10 Gbps are the nearest future of the market. Russia is Europe’s leader in the growth of optical access services for customers. Operators must be ready to provide customers with ultra high-speed access, using convergent fixed and mobile solutions”, claimed Bertrand Pascual.
The speech “Protecting the interests of a broadband access provider during the laying of communication lines in the underground cable systems” was delivered by Alexey Leontyev, Executive Director, Union of Alternative Telecom Operators. Alexey Leontyev shared an independent operator’s experience of penetration and network operation in the monopolist’s underground cable systems in St. Petersburg. This was achieved, preserving the rates and profitability, and with the assistance of lawyers and Federal Antimonopoly Service officials. “We are fighting for the interests of medium-sized operator business and winning the disputes. In particular, we would like to raise the total penalty for discriminatory access by monopolists at least to 1.5 million rubles”, said Alexey Leontyev about the union’s short-term goals.
Vladimir Shkirin, Head of National Operator Relations, MegaFon, spoke about the new opportunities and trends in the cooperation between backbone operators and broadband providers. “As a backbone provider, our company is ready to offer new mobile, cloud and other services to a broadband provider. This partnership can lead to a new level of client services and our new mutual growth”, promised Vladimir Shkirin. “Together, wemakeadecisionhowtodevelopfurther”.
The speakers of the second session entitled “New Opportunities for Operators in a Big City” and moderated by Grigory Nikolsky, Partner, Constanta Capital, were Dmitry Sharov, General Director, Filanko Group of Companies; Anton Nekhoroshikh, General Director, Uptime; Mikhail Obodnikov, Director of Maintenance, MGTS; Fabien Richard, Sales Director, Sagemcom; Zharkyn Tursynov, Managing Partner, Business Development Director, Lifestream (Smotreshka); Andrey Yatsenko, CEO, GorSvyazServis. The chief executives and company experts presented some modern technologies, business models, solutions and services which can cost-efficiently and rapidly make medium-sized carrier business more profitable and effective in the new economic conditions.
After lunch, there was a workshop entitled “Improving operator’s sales through appropriate product packaging”. Its moderator was Michael Nagaytsev, Vice President of Development, Top Telecom Group of Companies. He also conducted a workshop “Methods of organizing active sales: how not to scare away the client?” before the closing of the forum.
The third session of the forum was moderated by Vadim Vakhrushin, President of ClubCOM.Rf. The speakers described success factors for broadband operators in a big city. During this session, the floor was taken by Dmitry Vantsev, Commercial Director and Chairman of the Board, ROTEK; Dmitry Miroshnikov, Head of Representative Office in Russia and CIS, Sagemcom; Alexander Belyakov, General Director, MFI Soft; Artem Tereshchenko, Product manager VAS Experts, IT-GRAD; Sergey Fomichev, Business Development Director, Mastertel; and others.
The rapid-fire discussion “What an operator should invest in: equipment, services, loyalty?” was chaired by COMNEWS Editor-in-Chief Leonid Konik. The participants discussed the current investment directions, the ways to attracts funds and resources, the evaluation of return on promising investments, and operators’ strategies of partnership and joint actions. The discussion was joined by several experts including Alexander Zinko, Commercial Director, Nauka-Svyaz; Fabien Richard, Sales Director, Sagemcom; Dmitry Miroshnikov, Head of Representative Office in Russia and CIS, Sagemcom; Zharkyn Tursynov, Managing Partner, Business Development Director, Lifestream (Smotreshka); Vyacheslav Troshin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Celecom.
The guests of the forum continued the discussions, informally, during the evening cocktail reception. Answering the questions of COMNEWS reporters, the delegates admitted that the new forum “COMMUNICATIONS IN A BIG CITY” proved to be vital and, notably, has the highest practical value for the Russian communications provider market.





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