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Conquering what the company predicts will be a strong Spanish 4K market, and making the country the world’s epicentre for Ultra HD, is the quest for incumbent telco Telefónica, president Luis Miguel Gilpérez told delegates at the 4K (HDR) Summit 2017.

Gilpérez kicked off the event in Málaga stressing that first and foremost, video was at heart of the telco's corporate strategy regarding its flagship Movistar+ offer set to become the hub of digital life in Spanish households. The plan with Movistar+ is that it adapts to the needs of the consumer and, claimed the president, it has already changed the way Spanish citizens watch TV, as nearly two-fifths of customers did not watch live television. There were, he added, three pillars to the offer: exclusivity; variety; and user experience.

“Spanish pay-per-view is a benchmark in Europe with over six million users  – and we’ve only just started. We don’t want to be a transmitter of what is produced by others,” Gilpérez noted. “We want to provide content that reflects our identity and our DNA. We offer 350 new film releases a year, almost one for each day of the year. And we are working on our own TV productions. We bought the Velvet drama series from Antenna 3 and we are investing €100 million in [its development.]” The programme, Gilpérez asserted, was viewed more times on Movistar+ than Game of Thrones.

What is key to the video line going forward is the underlying infrastructure on which it will run, namely the extensive fibre network that Telefónica runs in Spain. Gilpérez stated that the fibre network is a true source of national pride and is more extensive than in any other European country, so much so that the president described Spain as a “fibre optic paradise,” with Spanish customer having what he called “differential capabilities”. Claiming that the city of Málaga alone had more fibre capability than any other European capital, Gilpérez said that almost 65% of Spain could be reached by fibre at present, with 3.2 million households currently connected.

Gilpérez also revealed the strategy that had brought about the ramp-up in fibre will be employed for 4KTV, making Spain no less than a global hub for the industry within a year. “With 4K we will do the same as with fibre optic,” he told attendees of the summit. “We will support and help manufacturers promote this market. We already have a 4K decoder and this will be massively deployed by the second quarter of 2018. We will offer content such as sports and events, working to ensure all series are broadcast in 4K. We will provide the ecosystem to make 4K a reality; all the excitement of fibre will be replicated with 4K.”
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