ATEME SA, a world leader in video compression solutions supporting HD or standard content deployed across any platform, announced that Xavier Niel, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for the Iliad Group (Paris Bourse Ticker:ILD) has joined ATEME’s Board of Directors.
The Iliad Group is a dominant player in the French Internet and Telecommunications market through its ISP subsidiary, Free(R). Free is the number one alternative ADSL operator in France with more than 2,278,000 subscribes as of December 31, 2006, 50% of which are effective IPTTV viewers.
Free was also the first French ISP to offer a ‘triple play’ of landline phone, Internet and IPTV to its subscribers. Free is considered the de-facto world leader in IPTV deployments and is capable of leveraging ATEME compression technology throughout its infrastructure.
The Iliad Group has been acclaimed in such publications as BusinessWeek(R) and the International Herald Tribune(R), with 2006 revenues totaling more than €950.2 million and positive growth of +31.2% over 2005 figures.
Free has been an early promoter of Live IPTV, video on demand (VoD), the HD Freebox with hard disk drive and fiber to the home (FTTH). Free is highly recognized as a technology and marketing pioneer in IPTV.
Mr. Niel is the Iliad Group’s majority shareholder and is the Deputy Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. He has been involved in the data communications, Internet and telecommunications industry since the late 1980s. In 1993, before dedicating himself full-time to developing the Group, he founded Worldnet, the first Internet service provider in France. Worldnet was later sold to Kaptech (LDCom Group) in December 2000.
He has been responsible for the Group’s major strategic developments. These include the launch of the ANNU service and the development of Internet access services based on France Télécom’s repayment scheme as a financial model as well as the launch of the Freebox project, which he personally innovated.
“We are extremely excited to have Mr. Niel joining ATEME’s Board of Directors – his legendary vision and expertise in growing companies will be a tremendous asset for us and we look forward to his counsel and active participation in ATEME’s ongoing success,” said Michel Artières, founder, President and CEO of ATEME.
“ATEME has unique technology, a strong management team and a leadership position in its market – I am extremely excited to be part of this team and have made a personal investment in the company to underscore my involvement. ATEME has already made a worldwide name for itself providing the best in video compression technology. 2007 promises to be a watershed year in taking that reputation even further, with new products and new solutions targeting higher bandwidth efficiency,” said Mr. Niel.
ATEME is a world-leading provider of MPEG-4 and H.264 video compression solutions. ATEME’s market-leading technology supports both standard and HD content, deployed across any platform. ATEME enables consumer devices such as mobile phones and TVs with the best in A/V technology, as well as providing broadcasters and telcos with unmatched compression quality for their content.