The future of Hi: the Details of the Expansion, Crisis and Brand New Operator

Retail director of Hi Bernardo Winik account to our site what is behind the operator

The week was atypical in Hi: the company has redesigned its portfolio of convergent products and launched a new brand, which divided opinions. Speaking to our site, the company’s retail director Bernardo Winik showed all that is behind the new combos Total Hi. In addition, he gave us clues about the operator’s plans to overcome the financial crisis and what the future for the operator’s infrastructure development.

TL; DR

This conversation reveals:

  • The Hi Total is a product of great importance to the operator, as it unifies the operation of mobile services, fixed broadband and cable TV in a single control platform;
  • That Hi has no intention to take the pay TV service for the state of São Paulo;
  • The decoders Hi TV will eventually be connected to the internet to access the Hi Play;
  • What the operator is doing to improve access to higher speeds on its broadband network;
  • What will happen to such broadband and cable TV fiber optic launched by the operator in 2012 and never expanded;
  • The impact of the new brand on the financial crisis that has faced Hi.

 

Hi Total and Pay TV

Our site: The Hi Hi had the Total Account plan, which was basically what the Total Hi proposes, but without the pay TV. Why this change is so important to the company?Bernardo Winik: The Total Hi brings greater operating gain for the operator.Previously, the customer had three different invoices (one for TV and one for mobile and one for broadband). The support platform had different systems for different products, and the new plan was integrating all in one place. With the Hi Overall, the three fixed installation of services is made ​​by a single technician and the support is concentrated in a central unique.

“PAY-TV IS A PRODUCT OF VERY LOW PROFITABILITY FOR THE OPERATOR”

Our site: So the same installer and fixed broadband will also be able to meet pay TV? Winik: That is the intention. At the moment there are still two different technicians, but is already happening training for thousands of technicians and the installation is simplified from the 2nd half of the year.

Our site: Now that Vivo bought GVT and is “invading” the area of Hi with pay TV would not be the time of Hi do the same and take the Hi TV to Sao Paulo? Winik:. Do not pay TV is a very low profitability product for the operator, with a payback (payback) too long. It is a product for triple-play, and do not go to SP because we do not have fixed network available to the client.

Our site: So Hi Total is operator so sell TV service to your customers? Winik: The client can do the math: if you sign each service separately pay much more than a combo. We have combos without TV and TV, and the client will notice the difference in values if hire a service apart.

Our site: The operator currently sells content on pay-per-view via Hi Movies with access directly through the TV set-top box, but also has the Hi Play platform, which is not available from the remote control. Now that all the combos have broadband, the operator has no intention to connect the decoder to the internet? There was this promise from the ABTA 2015 Winik: We will connect the set – top boxes, but not formulated as this will still be done. When the modem broadband is next to the TV is only connect a cable, but in many homes this modem is far from the room, for example.We are testing a wireless transmission mode, via Wi-Fi.

Our site: Yes, other operators do. A technology that is little known, but very functional, is the PLC, which transmits data across the grid. This would be useful even for IPTV installations, avoiding a lot of cables and easy installation. It would be a good opportunity for the use of technology? Winik: We are also testing this model of transmission grid in our laboratories. Both this as Wi-Fi have not yet been approved, but that should happen soon.

Our site: The Total Hi has broadband 10Mb / s speed in all planes. At the same time, competing operators offer speeds above 15 Mb / s in the combo. 10 Mb / s is not a very low speed? Winik: The client can hire up to 35 Mb / s if you want. We left 10 Mb / s because there are people who do not need more than that, and we managed to level the plans below. Thus, the choice of the client is maintained. Another problem is that at that time, the Hi can not offer higher speed than 10 Mb / s for everyone.

Our site: But why then in Hi Total cellular plans are married to the category? It is impossible to have a basic TV plan with high-end mobile. Winik : You can expand the mobile data allowance even in the most basic plan, paying an extra.

Our site: But not the minutes, right? A customer could not get 3000 minutes with the most basic plan TV. Winik: Yes, that’s true. But all the plans were modeled after a lot of research to understand the profile of consumers. A customer who needs 3,000 minutes is a point outside of the curve, which is practically talking on cell all the time.

Broadband and infrastructure

Our site: You said earlier that not all customers can hire high speeds. Why? Winik : Our biggest barrier was the backbone, which had many bottlenecks. This problem was corrected last year, when we create a brand new high capacity backbone. I dare say that today, the backbone of the Hi is the most advanced in Brazil compared to the competition. Our current barrier is the last mile, with long client’s home distances to the center.

“WE KNOW WE ARE NOT MEETING ALL THE NEEDS OF OUR CUSTOMERS”

Our site: And what the operator is doing to solve it? Winik: We are working on shortening our network. We will create new plants, reducing the distance to the customer’s home and thus increasing the speeds available to the base. All implementations ports are already in the VDSL standard, which allows deliver greater speed to the user.

Our site: Do you have a deadline to complete it? Winik: There is no set date, but we know that we are not meeting all the needs of our customers. We need to do this quickly, and, therefore, shorter schedule is based on analysis of potential consumption regions and cities, as well as the demands recorded in call center and operations. It is a plan to complete the medium term. It is important to remember that Hi has services in over 4000 cities, while the competition is much smaller operation. It’s like they just atendessem Manhattan, as must meet Manhattan and the rest of the country. The budget is divided, and not always the result of all investments will please everyone.

Our site: There are plans to implement the technology G.fast? (data transmission via standard metallic pair with speeds that can reach 1 Gb / s) Winik: We are laboratory technology tests. The results are impressive: when you think that the copper pair is no longer how to evolve, comes a technology that gives a survival. We will do field tests soon, but the intention is to use the technology commercially.

Our site: The Hi started a broadband operation and IPTV fiber optic, available in selected regions in Barra da Tijuca (Rio de Janeiro) and Belvedere (Belo Horizonte). This network never has since expanded. The Hi gave up to bring optical fiber to customers? Winik : It’s a technology that we are resuming investment. We will expand this network in a less aggressive way, slowly. In mid 2017 and 2018 there will be a greater commitment to this technology, but available for a few areas.

Brand New and Financial Crisis

Our site: There are 70 new operator logos. This leaves the consumer confused?Winik: With so many different brands, the customer will realize that the Hi may be present in your life in many ways. It is not the intention that consumers get confused, but notice the dynamism of Hi.

“IT IS NOT THE INTENTION THAT CONSUMERS GET CONFUSED, BUT NOTICE THE DYNAMISM OF HI”

Our site: In social networks, internet memes created by associating the brand to children’s and cartoon toys. Among our readers, the receptivity of the new brand was not very good. How is the perception of the operator about that? Winik: In our assessment, the balance was positive. The market was positioned for the brand change and the prospect of consumers has been better than expected. It is true that some people do not like the new, mainly former clients who were attached to the brand Hi.

Our site: The Hi is with a gross debt nearing 55 billion reais. A brand change does not bring a very high cost for a moment like this? Winik : The new brand is critical to the recovery of Hi as the crisis. It shows the healthy operating side of the operator, shows that the company has financial viability and can generate cash, and a way to get a vote of confidence to the lenders that the crisis will be overcome. The crisis is one of the most important issues of Hi, and is being taken very seriously by Bayard own [Bayard Gontijo, CEO of the operator]. It became a personal challenge him, and rely heavily that this is a problem that will have resolution.

Our site: When changes come to the shops? Winik: The change will be phased in gradually. There are many aspects of the brand that need to be updated. The outlets will be the first affected: the next seasons, including Mother’s Day, are already with the new brand. Stores that have higher customer flow will be prioritized, but overall we will not hurry a lot. The Sugar Loaf went through similar experience and it took over 4 years to complete the changes in all stores.