Thank you to everyone who attended Capacity Balkans 2013, Bucharest
Capacity Conferences would like to thank the 301 delegates, 28 speakers, 10 sponsors, 23 exhibitors and 11 meeting room holders from 116 companies for joining us once again at Capacity Balkans 2013. Here are some of the highlights from our 8th annual gathering for the Balkans carrier community.
Looking ahead to the future
The first day of the conference began with a keynote address from Dino Andreou, CEO of OTEGLOBE.
Mr. Andreou outlined OTEGLOBE’s strategy in the wake of the financial crisis, during which combined GDP in the Balkans dropped by an average of 11%. Mr. Andreou discussed how OTEGLOBE has re-enforced its position in the Balkans region with two secure networks offering reliable connectivity up to 100G between Greece and Germany, and shared insight into its plans to provide tailor-made solutions for end-users, expanded connectivity into new markets and optimised network management to reduce OPEX.
International networking and international networks
Delegates benefited from extensive networking opportunities on the afternoon of Day One with a working lunch sponsored by OTEGLOBE, followed by a coffee break sponsored by UPC BROADBAND and extended afternoon networking time for back-to-back meetings. The final conference session of Day One was a panel discussion looking at the development of international connectivity between Europe, the Balkans and Asia, during which participants spoke about the emergence of new routes, and the continuing development of diversity and security. Petros Mavroidis (Executive Director, PCCW GLOBAL) stated that of the six cables launched over the past ten years only one goes through the Balkans while at the same time traffic between Europe and Asia is growing steadily. The Balkans could provide a secure low-latency route between Europe and Asia, but it would need to pass through several countries and a great deal of cooperation between carriers and governments would be required to ensure profitability. Dumitru Vlad (Managing Director, ROMTELECOM) emphasised the need for carriers to achieve global scale to counter price erosion and that differentiation through innovative value-added services will be needed to build on the basic capacity that carriers provide.
Informal networking, Balkans style
After a long day of networking, meetings and conference sessions, delegates gathered in the exhibition area for an end-of-day one drinks reception sponsored by EQUINIX complete with drinks, canapés and even a draw for an iPad mini. This was followed by a mass migration to the Loft club in Bucharest for the ever-popular ROMTELECOM party. Attendees got re-acquainted with familiar faces and new friends over cocktails with live music and dancing until the early hours – a good time was had by all!
The Albanian market and demand for content services in the Balkans – Quality vs. Quantity
Day two of the conference opened with an overview of the Albanian telecoms market with senior executives from INFO-TELECOM, NEOFONE and TRING, and the final conference session offered a look at the rapidly growing market for content across the region. Stuart Evers (CEO, EUROWEB) and Vladan Aleksic (Director of Business Development, SBB) discussed increase in demand for major sporting events with large audiences that require a high-quality broadcast with no lag or interruptions, supported by localised caching and low-latency connections. Ciril Kafol (CEO, ONE) discussed the potential impact of regulatory change on carrier business, and stated that carriers will need to work together to offset the fall in traffic if P2P services are limited to protect copyright. Steryo Badalov (CTO, BLIZOO) agreed, adding that in Bulgaria regulations were being introduced to slow down services for heavy P2P users. The panellists agreed that the introduction of mobile video services over LTE will provide strong growth for carriers with the necessary infrastructure.
Once again, the Capacity team would like to thank all of the delegates, speakers, moderators and exhibitors that attended this year and we would also like to extend a special thank you to all of our sponsors for making the 8th annual Capacity Balkans possible. We hope that your time at the event was fruitful and you enjoyed catching up with new and existing contacts.