Northern Ireland Technology Highlighted at Major Expo in Hong Kong

Sales and marketing director of Belfast-based Latens Systems Andy Mathieson will be one of the speakers at a major communications and broadcasting conference and exhibition in Hong Kong from 28th to 29th November.

He will be taking part in the IPTVAsia Forum during the Invest Northern Ireland organised trade mission to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing from 27th November to 7th December. Other speakers at the conference include directors from Sony Television, NTT, Scientific Atlanta, Microsoft Television, Tandberg Television and China Netcom. The focus of the conference is on the use of the internet and broadband to provide television services, including video on demand.

Mr Mathieson says: “Telecommunications companies are increasingly moving their business beyond core voice and data services. With improved bandwidth and video compression techniques, they are now able to deliver live TV signals to either a television set or a PC through a broadband network. This is known as IPTV.

“The Asian market for this technology is predicted to grow to a value of $300 million during 2005. The number of IPTV subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) is expected to grow from nearly half a million subscribers in 2004 to over 20 million subscribers by 2009. Providers have unveiled IPTV services, or are running market trials in seven out of the 13 Asia-Pacific economies.

“This is a target market for us because our software technology enables network operators and content owners to protect their content from hackers and thereby safeguard their revenue streams.

“The Invest NI trade mission provides us with an extremely cost-effective way of combining our participation at this important event with the mission to the three Chinese business centres. Invest NI trade missions are an important element in our global marketing strategy,” he adds.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade director, says: “This is a good example of how a small company with leading edge technology can use our trade mission programme to reach a target audience that could have a significant impact on both its short and long term sales.

“We have a comprehensive portfolio of programmes and advisory services that companies can use to penetrate global markets. Last year, for instance, companies, mostly small to medium sized enterprises, secured business in excess of £80 million from their participation in our trade programmes,” he adds.

The company has received assistance from Invest NI, including equity, to set up in Belfast and has also been assisted with its R&D, e-business and company development schemes.