No one needs to be reminded that China is one of the world’s fastest growing markets, but getting content in and out of the country can take some finesse. Making rights deals and signing contracts is only part of the job. You might have sold rights to the Chinese market, but can you reliably deliver that content into the country?
What’s required is someone on the ground who can be your infrastructure liaison; someone who understands your needs and is at home with the Chinese technology ecosystem as well.
Telstra has an international presence in over 20 countries and has been operating in China since 1989. Through its joint venture, Telstra PBS, it became the first foreign company licensed to provide connectivity and network services on the mainland. Telstra operates data networks in 39 key Chinese cities and has data centres in the country, with connections to Telstra Global Media Network (GMN) points of presence in Beijing and Shanghai.
As a result, Telstra has become the go-to provider for media industry connectivity into and out of China.
But beyond its technology, Telstra is distinguished by the expertise of its personnel on the ground.
"Since we have an operating licence for providing connectivity and network services in China, we have our own staff operating our data centres and managing the network," says Sai Ping Sung, CTO of Telstra PBS. "The scalable services we offer in China are the same as what Telstra sells worldwide. The one-stop shop experience customers enjoy with us across the globe is identical to what they get in China."
These services make Telstra very attractive to some of the biggest rights holders in the world, and they’re partnering with the Telstra PBS network to deliver content to Chinese media companies. Likewise, they are providing the infrastructure for Chinese and international content owners and event organisers (particularly live sports) to reach audiences worldwide.
Esports is becoming a huge global phenomenon and China has been both a big consumer and host of major esports content. Telstra’s network is already very active in helping gaming companies both inside and outside China fuel the hunger for this new content sector. The collaborative nature of Telstra PBS means Telstra has an experienced Chinese team on the ground.
"Working with incumbent technology providers for access to a network can often come with uncertainties, as there may be unforeseen compatibility issues with your own architecture. Ideally, you need someone with the right expertise on the ground, who can help both sides build the best solution," explains Sung.
Having Telstra’s team available in China also allows its customers to have an in-country liaison who can speak for the customer, track down faults and talk to the right people to get solutions implemented quickly. In addition, Telstra has the infrastructure to support internet delivery, which is becoming more of a critical request. With years of experience helping the world’s major video platforms stream in Australia and building infrastructure in China, Telstra offers an established and secure solution for internet delivery into the country.
"Our Telstra GMN point of presence (PoP) in Hong Kong sits next to our internet PoP. It’s just a cross connection. Then, customers can get whatever bandwidth they want easily from our global IP network," concludes Sung.
As the world’s second largest economy with a significant audience base, China is only going to grow as a content market and producer. With its infrastructure, technologies and expertise on the ground in China, Telstra stands ready to help media companies grow with it.
This article first appeared on the Winter 2020/20201 edition of FEED magazine.