22:54 | 10.10.09 | Interviews | 4983

IP Television service to be provided in Yerevan since mid-November

Interview of Chief Executive Officer of “Ucom” Company Hayk Yesayan to Mediamax Agency and Itel.am portal

- In “Ucom” Company’s pavilion at DigiTec Expo exhibition people were informed that the company is starting IP Television testing in the smaller center of Yerevan. When will the company start providing its services in the center of Yerevan and other communities?

- Yes, at present we are in the process of testing our services in the smaller center of Yerevan and we intend to start providing services since mid-November. IP Television, internet and landline connection in a single package will be available for all residents of Yerevan Kentron community since November.

The main part of works on implementing our infrastructure in the center of Yerevan is already concluded. The infrastructure is based on the most advanced technology of fiber-optic access called Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON), which is supplied by Ericsson Company.

By the end of 2010, we intend to start provision of services in the entire territory of Yerevan. The company has also a goal of providing services in other towns of the republic, but we will be able to talk about it only since April, 2010, when we have the results of the necessary market research and know the volume of investments necessary for achieving this goal.

- What is “Ucom” guided by while building its network?

- We have held market research in Yerevan, which showed that the demand for IPTV in the capital city is quite high. The results of the surveys show that only 5% of Yerevan residents watch high-definition television (HDTV).

- How many Armenian and international TV channels will be available for your subscribers and what advantages will they have as compared to the subscribers of cable television?

- Subscribers of IP Television can watch about 80 channels with high ratings, 10 of which are Armenian. The services of cable television offer watching only certain particular channels. However, “Ucom” offers a number of unique services, including video rent of movies in online mode, pause function while watching any channel, the opportunity to watch the current program from the beginning, etc.

- What tariff plans does the company offer?

- Detailed tariff plans will be made public, when our services become available for subscribers. In general, the picture is the following: we will provide both a single package of services, including IPTV, landline connection and internet, and individual services.

The single monthly tariff for IPTV and landline connection will make 8500 AMD: the tariff for internet connection will start from 8000 AMD. If the subscriber wants to use the full package of our services, the connection fee will start from 15 000 AMD, and discount will be provided in monthly tariffs. While using any individual service, the connection fee will be higher.

Individual tariffs will be for “Video on demand” services, when the subscriber orders the movie he/she wants to watch.

- From the day of its establishment, “Ucom” has been dealing with provision of internet connection basing on WiMAX technology. Will the company continue provision of services by this technology or will it make a full transition to GPON technology?

- Yes, “Ucom” Company, founded in 2007, has been providing internet services basing on WiMAX technology mainly to corporate customers. Now we practically make a full transition to GPON technology and our WiMAX infrastructure will play a more auxiliary role in providing internet.

- How did “Ucom”, being a young Armenian company, manage to start cooperation with a corporation, such as Ericsson?

- Realization of a joint project with Ericsson and provision of new services is a result if talks, which lasted for about a year. During the negotiations we managed to convince managers of the Swedish company that there is quite volume demand in the Armenian market for such services and that we can properly present and provide Ericsson solutions in Armenia.

Notable is the fact that the given technologic solution of Ericsson, when services of IP Television, landline telephony and internet are provided in a single package by GPON technology, is unprecedented not only for the region, but also for the entire world. After Armenia, Ericsson started implementing such solutions in China and now already in Georgia as well.