Q&A: Juan Revilla, CEO, Wholesale Business Unit, Telefónica
Telefónica’s CEO of wholesale business, Juan Revilla, tells Capacity what its strategic priorities are in Latin America for 2016. Additionally, he explains what major trends he sees surfacing in the Latin American market this year and the key challenges being faced.
What are your strategic priorities in Latin America for 2016?
Continuing to invest in infrastructure remains a priority. We have reinforced our infrastructure leadership in the Americas with a new submarine cable, BRUSA, which is circa 11,000 km long. It will link Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza (Brazil) with San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Virginia Beach (USA), supporting ultra-fast transmission capacity enabled by leading edge technology. It will begin operations in 2018. This significantly increases our connectivity and capabilities in the region and builds on the deployment of the PCCS submarine system, which started operations during 2015.
We will continue to extend the deployment of LTE, as well as HD Voice and VoLTE, supported by our global NGN to respond to retail demand and further enhance customers’ experience. We intend to promote our robust internet security services portfolio including a new service VAMPS (Vulnerability Analysis Management Professional Service), which provides our customers with mechanisms to detect and counteract the threats that may exist in their own systems and platforms.
Latin America continues to be a strategically important region for Telefónica and we will leverage our local presence in all markets to ensure that we remain highly commercially competitive and retain our position as the partner of choice across Latin America.
What major trends do you see surfacing in the Latin American market this year?
Intensifying competition and regulation evolution in different markets will remain a feature of the wholesale telecoms market challenging wholesalers to implement appropriate strategies to ensure they thrive. We also expect to see a rise in the number of partnership agreements as wholesale players strive to deliver differentiated services and extend coverage for their customers.
Embracing network virtualisation brings exciting new commercial opportunities for wholesale players at a global level and we have an important role to play to make virtualisation a reality across the industry. We are taking an active role in the telco industry’s evolution to network virtualisation to optimise the benefits of new technologies, such as SDN and NFV, and investing in research of NFV and SDN architecture for the benefit of the entire wholesale community.
We recognise the importance of new digital services alongside traditional services – at a regional and global level. As a telco we are in a unique position of strength to deliver comprehensive, end-to-end solutions to customers, such as cloud, security, big data and IoT. Leveraging our experience and deep market knowledge we can provide unique, go-to-market insight and business acumen to enable customers and partners to expand their business portfolios, or indeed enter new markets or countries, faster and more efficiently.
We expect heightened concern with regard to security and increased cross-border trade will drive the adoption of new services including roaming services, security services and M2M wholesale services. Furthermore, visibility and control at a global level will be a greater priority, which will be aided by our new RITMO (Roaming Investigation Tool for Mobile Operators) roaming monitoring solution that improves insight and the management of data roaming business.
What are some of the challenges of operating in the Latam market?
Latin America is a diverse region, with a large number of countries with different economic cycles, GDP output, geographies and specific local ICT trends. Our challenge is to ensure that we deeply understand these idiosyncrasies and adapt accordingly to the requirements of each country, whilst leveraging the benefits of our global and regional scale. The macroeconomic situation in the region, particularly in Brazil, and the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations are particularly challenging. However, having been present in the region for many years we have experience of managing such situations.
What do you hope to achieve by attending Capacity Latam 2016?
We hope to engage with our customers and partners across the region – to further develop existing long term relationships and establish new ones. Importantly, the event provides an opportunity to share ideas on the hot topics that are impacting the whole wholesale community and enhance our insights in both the regional and global market.