Thanks to its synergy with the A1 Group, A1 Serbia achieves better cooperation with other markets, exchanges of expertise and the possibility to offer its customers new, advanced solutions for the digital age. All this enables A1 to traverse, as smoothly and easily as possible, the path from a telecommunications company to a serious ICT company
I t is expected that 5G will enable a significantly larger number of connected devices, which will contribute to the automating of agricultural processes and traffic, the evolution of digital solutions and an incomparably better user experience in all segments of private and business life.
When it comes to your company, 2021 has been marked by rebranding. Has that opened up new possibilities for you, as a strong international “player”?
Synergy with the A1 Group has enabled us to have even better cooperation with other markets and exchange expertise, while giving us the possibility to offer the Serbian market new, advanced solutions for the digital age in which we live. This gives us a tailwind in being a reliable partner to our users and providing them with a stable and strong network and services, while at the same time helping them to find the best solutions for themselves. The results are already evident. We have gone even further when it comes to tariff offers, launching our own brand of devices, striding into the domain of internet security and increasingly paving the way for us to transform from a telecommunications company to a serious ICT company.
The A1 Group’s support has enabled us to this year implement significant improvements to network infrastructure. We erected as many as 100 base stations in the first eight months of the year, increasing the network’s capacity by more than 70 per cent. The first confirmation of quality has also arrived from Ookla®, the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence, testing applications and technology. Speedtest®, Ookla’s flagship network testing platform, collects hundreds of millions of measurements about the performance and quality of networks around the world each day. Ookla declared A1 the fastest mobile network in Serbia for 2021, and we’re extremely proud of that fact.
You announced recently that A1 will cooperate with Nokia on the introduction of 5G to Serbia. What kind of expectations do you have when it comes to this technology having in mind the experiences of other markets where 5G technology has already been implemented?
What is most important for us operators, but also users, is that the new spectrum will increase the capacity of the network, which has practically reached its limit due to the significantly larger amounts of data transmitted over the last two years. Service delays will be reduced, which will spur the development of new and more complex services.
During the first eight months of 2021, we erected as many as 100 base stations and increased the network’s capacity by more than 70 per cent
In the majority of the countries of the region where the auction has been completed, the implementation phase is now underway, while in those places where 5G has already been introduced, such as Austria and Slovenia, for example, the impressions are positive.
You recently awarded nine million dinars to projects for children within the scope of the “world you dream of” program. How much has been done in the first stage of the program and what can we expect next?
The projects from the programme’s first cycle are currently in the implementation stage. Local communities throughout Serbia have already received devices for gauging air pollution, thanks to the project of the Internet Society of Serbia, and we will soon see the launch of the free educational programme on the topic of the visualisation and interpretation of data from the Loop Foundation [Fondacija Petlja]. The freephone line of the Centre for Mothers, “Mummy, how are you?”, will start functioning by the end of this year.
The projects intended for children are expected to be realised next year. Thanks to the Zaigrani [Playful] Initiative, 100 nursery schools throughout Serbia will be equipped with unfinished ecofriendly toys that encourage creativity and learning. The Logo Centre will launch an application for children at an early stage of development, while within the scope of the educational programme Zasadimo život zajedno [Let’s plant life together], primary school children will learn about healthy habits and nutrition, and everything that they grow will be donated to Nurdor [the national association of parents of children suffering from cancer] and to children struggling with cancer.