AirTies Turkey

Connecting the dots

At the time when Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter carried out the first wireless telephone conversation in 1880, even their great minds probably couldn’t have envisioned how significant a part this technology would go on to play more than 120 years later. Today, barely a week goes by before a new wireless device is brought to market and the spread of the technology in developing countries has come to be one of the tell-tale signs of economic strength.

Defined by the IMF as an emerging market economy, Turkey is one such country to have experienced a rapid growth when it comes to technological advances in recent times. “It was roughly around ten years ago that mass use of the internet started to really boom in Turkey,” explains AirTies Turkey CEO, Philippe Alcaras.

It was around this time, 2004 to be precise, that AirTies was established. Led by a senior management and technical team from Silicon Valley, the company’s strategic intent was, and still is, to be the market leader for the wirelessly connected home through the design and development of its own software and hardware.

“Our introduction to the Turkish market,” Alcaras continues, “saw us bring a number of innovations to the country. Perhaps the most significant of these was the opening of our own 24/7 call centre to help customers to properly install their internet service. This is one way that we demonstrate how our origins have always been closely linked to our customers, their individual user experiences and the bringing to market of the best products and services.”

The opening of its own call centre in Turkey was in many ways a visionary move by AirTies Turkey, bucking the trend created by other device manufacturers that tend to outsource such services, often at the expense of forging close relationships with their customers and gaining a better understanding of their concerns and issues.

“Our decision to forge this link really helped in creating a greater level of recognition for our brand and is one of the reasons why there are now more than three million Turkish homes using our products,” Alcaras enthuses. In addition to these domestic customers the company has also built up an impressive portfolio of business clients.

One of the unique characteristics that make AirTies stand apart from the competition is that it retains full control of its products and solutions from inception to launch. By developing its hardware and software through internal research and development and customer feedback the company is able to quickly respond to market demands.

“Today, the fundamental driver of our growth is the fact that our system is designed to guarantee 100 percent wireless coverage throughout a user’s home or business; however what is now central to our business was much more of an accessory as recently as five years ago,” Alcaras states.

This all changed with the arrival of the iPad. From that point on it became clear that the days were numbered when home networking could simply be resolved using power lines and electricity to bring the internet into every room. As Alcaras rightly points out, in the average US home today there can be as many as twelve wireless connected devises under one roof and this trend is going global at a rapid pace. Therefore the need to be able to provide for an environment where all these devices can connect seamlessly to a strong internet connection has never been greater.

“Our solutions, products and technology allow us to create a network within a home or business that provides the best possible pathway for any content that one wishes to access wirelessly through a particular device,” Alcaras says. “That ability to deliver a fantastic user experience time and again really typifies AirTies and gives us the edge that we have over our competitors.”

Equally significant is its seemingly never-ending search for new technological advances that will enhance user experience, something that it does not just by itself but also in partnership with other industry players who the company feels share a similar vision and values.

“A lack of collaboration between companies is something that we see as a real issue within our industry with the concept of joint research and development being something that is very much in its infancy,” Alcaras highlights. “What we want to do is take this concept and move it forward. The reality of the world today is that consumer habits change and grow at a much faster pace than the industry itself, therefore the norm of taking some 18 months to deploy a new solution is too long. It is my belief that the best way to bring this time down is through honest, open collaboration between companies that will ultimately reap benefits for all parties.”

When looking at what the future holds for AirTies Turkey, one of the initiatives currently in the early stages of planning involves the company rolling out its technology to Turkey’s steadily expanding hospitality sector. “Our research into this particular market has shown us that in order to ensure complete coverage throughout a hotel one requires a greater use of smart technology as opposed to networking technology,” Alcaras says. “Where we also see the hospitality market benefiting from our solutions is in the ability to self-install quickly and simply. As you can imagine, for a hotel to call in an engineer each time they need to install connectivity to a room you are looking at a time consuming, costly exercise. The self-installing nature of our technology helps to lower the cost of installation while continuing to ensure maximum wireless coverage everywhere. This reason alone gives us great confidence that our products can sit well within the hospitality sector.”

While Turkey continues to be a hugely important market for AirTies, a breakdown of its annual revenues reveals that its dependence on the country has decreased slightly over the last three to five years. As Alcaras himself acknowledges, this highlights the fact that the opportunity for the company to expand internationally is at hand.

“In addition to expanding our existing presence in Europe,” Alcaras concludes, “we are also looking more and more at potential business opportunities in North America and Asia. While this makes for an exciting time for us we do realise that, good as we are, we are not yet in a position where we can provide our technology on a global scale in the short term. In order to combat this we are increasingly looking to partner with a number of premium operators so that we can better provide hardware, finished goods and licensing throughout the world. Although it is difficult to forecast precisely what the future may hold we are certainly preparing ourselves for the possibility of multiplying our current revenue by three or four in the next five years.”

Written by Will Daynes, research by David Brogan