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Interview with CommScope's B. Millard and P. Sorrells

August 30, 2013
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With well-established operations in Europe and the US, CommScope has, of late, been focusing on strengthening its presence in Southeast Asia. 

In an interview with tele.net.in, Brendan Millard, Director, Wireless, Southeast Asia, and Philip Sorrells, Vice President, Strategic Marketing, Wireless, CommScope, discuss the company’s go-to-market strategy, its focus areas and the road ahead for the company.  


How does CommScope position itself in various markets to suit the requirements of telecom operators?

We have developed various solutions for different network evolutions, which has helped the business strategies of various operators. For example, in an emerging market like Vietnam where the networks are already in place, operators are opting for a capacity centric-approach, under which they are enhancing the capacity of existing sites. In comparison, in Cambodia, which has a relatively low population density, operators are adopting a coverage-centric approach. They would try to maximise coverage at the least cost. Our strategy is to design different product portfolios to match the stage of network evolution the market is in.

What is the share of the Southeast Asian region in your topline?

We have a very large business in Europe and the US. In the Southeast Asian region, we are probably the most recognised brand in the industry. The share of this region in our topline has been growing continuously especially with the launch of long term evolution (LTE) services.

What is the technology advantage that you offer to telecom operators?

Our goal is to provide value proposition to the customer. We are not always the least expensive equipment suppliers but our goal is to ensure that the quality and delivery of the product is the best. We ensure that it enables the minimum possible time-to-market.

How does CommScope helps operators identify and tap the right market segments?

A recent Ericsson report on consumer analysis suggests that while subscribing to a particular service, smartphones users are likely to make a decision based on the quality of the network, customer service, billing programs, etc. Today, all operators realise the role that network quality plays in tapping lucrative, high average revenue per user (ARPU) customers. These customers are generally smartphone subscribers who consume a significant amount of data services and are an operator’s key customers.

Here, our value proposition is to help operators tap these consumers by helping them achieve network quality.

What is your strategy in convincing operators to use your solutions and products?

When we are engaged in a major project, the team’s role does not end with the sale of equipment. They are responsible for ensuring proper services delivery that was assured to the client. We have a global footprint as well as the expertise and financial backing to deliver on what is being promised to our customers.

Do you think you have evolved fast enough to keep up with the technology changes and customer expectations?

While it is a tough task, we have managed to invest significantly in research and development, owing to our strong financial backing.

We believe in three pillars of success: technological leadership, customer engagement, and operational excellence and we excel in all these areas. We are also very well placed with regard to timely delivery of products to our customers.

How have you seen the markets in the Southeast Asian region evolve?

In Southeast Asia, we are present through a combination of distribution facilities (we have one in Singapore) and partnerships. In some of the countries in the region, we have partnered with companies which have strong distribution channels. They offer logistics support to us as well.

One of the key characteristics of the Southeast Asian markets is that most operators here are early adopters. We have been able to find the right foundation for technologies, to work in these markets. Singapore is a classic example of an early adopter in this region. Every new technological innovation has found home in Singapore.

Which markets are key markets for you in the region?

Indonesia is a key market for us. We are also very excited about how the telecom market in Myanmar will evolve.  It is like a greenfield opportunity right now and we would want to address the needs of that market.  We are also excited about Thailand. The country’s telecom market has a lot of potential but the growth has largely been stifled due to political nuisances of the country. So it is great to see the operators in Thailand rolling out networks in 2100 MHz spectrum band.


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