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 Profile 13.09.2016 13:09:37
INTERVIEW / Anton Kathrein, CEO Kathrein-Werk KG: „We try to bring technologies together and find the right solutions for the clients”
Amsterdam, Netherlands / Sep 13, 2016 /

At IBC2016 Media Expres took the opportunity to have an interview with Anton Kathrein, Chief Executive Officer and owner of the Kathrein-Werke KG based in Rosenheim, Germany, on Sunday 11, September 2016. He was accompanied by Joe Doering, Chief Markets Officer and Member of the Executive Board. We spoke about Kathrein and Romania, about Kathrein and the global markets, and about the competition between the broadcasting technologies cable, satellite and terrestrial. And, of course, about Kathrein and the much commented about Brexit. (Interview by Mihai Pavelescu)

Reporter: Please explain why Romania is so important for Kathrein.
Anton Kathrein: Our company strategy is to have for every region local production, so for Europe Romania is very attractive first of all because we find qualified people there, then secondly the wages are also attractive to us and it is close to our headquarters, so the balance of cost, quality and proximity is very good.
Rep.: Kathrein was launched in 1919 by your grandfather, but then you also have a long most recent history with Romania...
A.K.: We started with sales offices in Bucharest and then with a factory in Timisoara 19 years ago, as soon as early years after the communism fell down.
Rep.: What industry is the driver of your business, mobile or broadcasting?
A. K.: It's mobile, the largest part of our business, but the technologies are combining and actually it's all about connections, and whatever technologies fits to solve the problem of the customer, we are ready to implement. We try to bring technologies together and find the right solutions for the clients.
Rep.: How is business and politics? How do you feel Brexit?
Joe Doering: We actually did some research on the Brexit. We do not see any short term event, in the longer term we see a potential deceleration of the economy and then if economy goes slow, there will be less investment. But the telecom industry is quite protected, so no early impact from Brexit.
Rep.: What is the territory that brings the most of the Kathrein company revenue?
A.K.: Our largest customers are in Europe. But it's not about from where the company is, but where the product are implemented, for example Nokia is one of our largest customers, and the products can be implemented in Africa or Asia.
Rep.: How was IBC so far for you?
A. K.: I just arrived today but our colleagues told me it was a quality exhibition for us, so far. As you may have seen, we introducing a new system for monitoring broadcast antennas, to obtain a predictive maintenance to see the quality of the antenna developing over time and once you see a degradation you can start planning service to prevent the shut down of the system. We see high interest of our customers for this solution. The system is build together with a partner, DAC, they had the idea and we acquired the know-how and now we have a joint product.
Rep.: What other news this year at IBC?
J. D. : The American market started to be interested in European-like scenarios with not one big antenna, but multiple smaller ones, in the broadcasting. It's a lot of innovation in broadcasting happening, this is very positive for the industry which was not sure which round to take, and then the mobile operators are also considering using broadcast technologies to off-load some of their traffic. The mobile industry comes in the broadcasting industry dialogue.
A. K.: For example the broadcast of live sport events using the broadcast infrastructure is much more efficient, along with DVB-T you can broadcast mobile signals and you do not need to change the cips that are used.
Rep. : Any question I should have asked and didn't?
J. D.: I think it is about Kathrein and the commitment to the broadcast media environment. We have a strong commitment in this industry. People are asking the market leader what are you doing, are you withdrawing? No,we are getting in stronger into this industry. I think we give a strong message we are in.
Rep. : How do you see the competition between terrestrial, cable and satellite distribution? What about the not so happy Romanian digital terrestrial transition?
A. K.: We are in all these technologies, so for us is not one against each other but more it is a question to what technology to use in a certain scenario. If you are mobile for example terrestrial broadcasting is very attractive way to transporting the signal, the infrastructure is there and it has this good value, but if you are at home and you are connected to the cable network of course cable is very attractive. It is about the right mix scenario.
J. D.: We play in all of them because we believe none of them will die. It's so much data we have to handle.


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