THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY

Costa Rica 2019 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

Telecable is helping to facilitate the digital transformation, working hard to get as many people, and businesses, connected as possible.

Gerardo Chacón
BIOGRAPHY
Gerardo Chacón is co-founder of Telecable, a company with 100% Costa Rican capital that began operations in 2005. Currently CEO, he has more than 20 years of experience in the field of telecommunications; where he has been a pioneer in the cable television and internet industry in Costa Rica. He has previous experience in finance and tourism and adopted a culture of close service to exceed the expectations of Telecable customers. He is also an administrator of training companies.

How would you evaluate the current state of the sector?

Every company in the IT sector is on the path to digital transformation, and every operator has to provide the final consumer with what they need. Telecable is focused on the end user in the residential and corporate segment. We seek to provide everything that is necessary for companies so they can avoid having to enter into significant CAPEX.

How has the sector evolved, and where are the opportunities for economic growth?

The telecommunications sector has evolved toward the integration of services driven by the digital transformation that companies are requesting. The opportunities for growth are in the specificity of the supply according to the needs of each industry, adaptable and in flexible business models like pay per use that allow greater efficiency in the use of resources.

How has the Telecable growth process been, and what have been the secrets to your success?

Telecable was established in 2005. Throughout these 13 years we have grown in both the residential and commercial markets based on a service philosophy that exceeds customer expectations and with innovative products suited to their needs at competitive rates. The secret of success is based on having a team of committed shop owners looking to do things right the first time, which differentiates us. We have received the highest rating for three years running in subscription TV services and fixed internet according to the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel).

What is Telecable's position in terms of market share?

Four years ago, we were the fourth company but are now in the top two. Part of this is because we have made great headway in broadband. On the other hand, television is a supportive feature; though its numbers are down, this transition will still take several more years. We have a presence in four provinces, though in 2018 we ventured into two additional territories, and by 2019, we hope to cover the whole country. There are always growth opportunities in the residential segment, though the most significant business opportunities are in the corporate sector. SMEs do not currently enjoy optimal connectivity, which is why we are looking into that niche to help them grow their business.

What are your competitive advantages that help you stand out from the other operators?

Connectivity, both in residential and commercial use, is a commodity that directly dictates people's personal and professional dynamics. Telecable is an efficient, dynamic, and fast-moving company, and this becomes a competitive advantage highly appreciated by users and commercial partners. In a small and competitive market such as Costa Rica, brand awareness and word to mouth is vital for growth in the sector.

What are your plans to grow Telecable?

Telecable can go anywhere. We invest between USD12 and 14 million per year in maintaining the networks, making sure they work correctly and based on the latest in technology. We are the first company to have 100% of its networks in DOCSIS 3.0. Our vision is to guarantee the best service experience and connectivity with the world. Our strategy is to keep growing and reach all places. As a result of a tender that we won for the FONATEL project, we reach 29 cantons in remote areas. We can bring connectivity to wherever it is needed, and we can do this through our partners. A year and a half ago, we started with a wireless network at a national level. If a client in Talamanca requests connectivity, and we do not have optical fiber in that region, we can go wirelessly. The important thing is not to say no. We have also rendered service to large companies, both public and private.

What are the main positioning strategies of Telecable?

Telecable will become the connectivity and internet company in Costa Rica. We have no doubt we will have the best network and the best internet service in the country. When any person or company thinks of internet services, they will think of Telecable. Today, we also provide services at the regional level in Guatemala, El Salvador, and other countries that are our partners. We can connect China to Costa Rica in two or three days.

Do you have any specific focus for 2019?

We bought an optical fiber network that reaches the border with Nicaragua, and we presented the request for authorization to Sutel to integrate with a company that we acquired called Cable Costa located in Turrialba and Jimenez.