APTelecom, 9 years of doing business in emerging markets and beyond
Sean Bergin is based in APTelecom’s Asian headquarters in Cambodia and has been instrumental in building APTelecom into a globally recognised leader in telecom and fibre consulting, elevating from a startup business to an award-winning global organisation.
The company was founded in 2009 with the vision to help commercialise new submarine cables between various countries, as they spend billions establishing them and therefore need to make a profit. Our focus is on emerging markets in challenging places, such as South East Asia, Africa and South America.
Significant changes Sean has seen in the industry over the last decade is that previously the buyers for international telecoms were carriers as the demand was there. In the last 4 or so years, a massive shift has occurred, with the content providers now driving it moreso than the traditional carriers people may get their internet services from. Now we’re seeing content providers themselves having buying capacity and trying to get closer to their customers which is a fundamental shift. They are now out there building their own networks, forcing APTelecom to evolve and adapt due to this changing client base.
We’re seeing an explosion of video content today, which largely drives the uptake of capacity. Seeing the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, movies, data and other content has increased traffic considerably. Much of this ‘machine traffic’ involves servers updating one other and content shifting all around the world. Rather than traditional telecom traffic, a lot is now happening via mobile devices.
APTelecom work to a Vision 2020 document which was written in 2013. This forces us to look at where we want to be as an organisation as well as where the industry is headed. Rather than a business plan, we see this as more of an ‘implementation plan’. It assists in staying true to our vision and is reviewed every quarter to ensure it’s still relevant and milestones are being delivered. We keep this up to date as the industry evolves.
Presently, APTelecom has clients in East Africa, South America, Ecuador, Columbia, Cuba, South East Asia, Europe, the US and Australia. We operate in a niche industry but we’re trying to build a global brand and profile, using elements such as social media to retain touchpoints with customers and prospects consistently. We also do a lot of travel to try and capitalise on conferences around the world to have multiple appointments and get a lot of coverage, as well as many international conference calls.
After 9 years, Sean attributes APTelecom’s success to addressing corporate and global markets, staying true to our vision and sticking to it, as well as managing cashflow effectively and self-finding as much as possible to avoid taking on debt and equity.
It’s certainly an exciting time for APTelecom, and thank you Sean for your vision.