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Q&A with SVP Rob McLaughlin, Part Two

Last week I posted part one of an interview with Rob McLaughlin, Senior Vice President & GM, Global Go-to-Market for the Motorola Home business. Here is the second half of that conversation, with coverage of broadband trends in different geographic regions, and insight into the coming together of Motorola’s Home and Mobile Devices businesses.

Interview with Motorola SVP Rob McLaughlin

Q. Can you talk about how television and broadband are moving forward differently in different geographic regions? How is APAC different from North America? Europe from Latin America? Are there big trends you can point to in each of these regions?

A. According to Motorola’s recent Media Engagement Barometer consumer expectations for video and broadband experiences are similar – consumers want anytime, anywhere access to content, content customization, and constant connectivity – which signals the need to evaluate new video and broadband technologies capable of achieving those experiences. Although the research was only conducted in North America and Europe, from what I’ve seen in other regions, the research is representative globally.

Our expectations for the market penetration of TV and broadband technologies in global regions are in line with various industry analyst predictions: According to ABI Research, fixed broadband revenue is expected to top $184 billion by the end of 2010. “The Asia-Pacific region is spearheading fiber installation, with 80% of the global broadband fiber market. In order to satisfy the need for high speed advanced services such as IPTV, operators in Western European countries are accelerating the rollout of broadband fiber. Recently, British Telecom set a target to provide fiber broadband to 40% of homes by 2012.”

ABI Research also says that “in 2009 the Asia Pacific region with its 363 million pay-TV subscribers took the lion’s share of the global pay-TV market. Cable TV is the major pay-TV platform. However, inroads are being made by telco TV providers. Asia-Pacific telco TV growth is expected to gain pace. ABI Research estimates that APAC will attain a 31% share of the global telco TV market in 2010.”

We also see the Middle East as a major growth region for video services. Saudi Arabia for example is one of the largest growth markets for us in all of the EMEA. The majority of our market activity to date has been with incumbent carriers in Western Europe, but increasingly our focus in terms of resources and opportunities for development is in Middle East. There had been a noticeable switch on attitude to content distribution. Over the last nine months the Middle East has shown a very strong drive towards video distribution systems. The onset of both wireless broadband and fixed broadband with ultra high data speeds has driven telcos to look for new revenue streams through video services.

Q. Finally, there are some big changes underway within Motorola. Earlier this year it was announced that the Home and Mobile Devices businesses would come together in one new company. Typically the two business units have been pretty well separated. What kind of potential do you see when the two groups are joined more closely?

A. For more than 80 years, Motorola has helped customers bridge from existing product sets to new communications technologies as consumer expectations for media experiences have evolved. And, we’re currently seeing a dramatic evolution in consumers’ media expectations and the way our customers – whether cable operators, wireless providers, telcos or content providers – will have to re-evaluate the technologies and services they deliver to meet these new expectations.

Integrating Motorola’s Home and Mobile Devices business is a natural extension of answering consumer demand. With the delivery of rich, personal media experiences dependent on the convergence of TV, PC and mobile device content and technologies, it only makes sense for us to leverage the synergies of our Home business. With our broad device portfolio, deep video expertise and partnerships with the operator community, we are well positioned to deliver on the consumer’s growing appetite for these experiences.

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