Serbia’s telecommunications market has gone through a transformation this year. Speaking to CorD about how company Vip mobile responds to the ever-increasing challenges facing the telecommunications market is Dejan Turk, CEO of both Vip mobile and A1 Slovenija.
The dynamism of the telecommunications market is constant regardless of local circumstances and the restructuring of the market in Serbia. Such a situation only further encourages us to act proactively and be the first to introduce innovations, and this is something for which we’ve been recognisable since our arrival on the market 11 years ago.
Which technological innovations do you consider as being the most important for the further growth of Vip and the Serbian telecommunications sector and mobile telephone market?
– We believe in the potential of this market, and our greatest contribution to Serbia’s technological advancement is in encouraging digitalisation. We are recognised as a company that’s taking serious steps in this domain, particularly by investing in and developing appropriate infrastructure and the 4G network, and by educating users and introducing digital services. We primarily see an opportunity for further growth in the development of digital services and services intended for private users and the economy.
With 995 million euros invested to date, Vip mobile represents the largest greenfield investment in Serbia. The company currently has more than 2.2 million users and a market share of over 24%, while in the first nine months of this year it registered total revenues of 182 million euros, marking a 11 per cent increase over the same period last year
That’s why we are today offering solutions such as the smart home system of Vip Čuvarkuća (House guard), the safe Internet application Dečjazona (kids zone) and Auto Manager for corporate vehicle fleet control. We are simultaneously working on the development of Narrowband Internet of Things technologies, and through the Vip IoT Challenge project, we’re supporting teams that offer the best solutions for the digital transformation of society.
To what extent will the announced rescinding of roaming charges and new free technological possibilities for communication in the region impact on Vip’s operations?
– This year we’ve been able to hear from high representatives of Western Balkan countries and the European Union that the elimination of roaming charges is a goal, but it has also been clearly emphasised that the first step is to reduce roaming costs. This implies that it is essential for reductions in charges at the retail level to be accompanied by adequate costs at the wholesale level. All of this is important in terms of predictability when it comes to the work of operators who invest significant resources in the construction and advancement of mobile networks. The rescinding of roaming tariffs is a two-way process in which it is essential to involve all market participants. As one of the steps preceding the changing of this regulation, we have this year offered our users a certain amount of free internet traffic while in roaming, thereby responding to their communication needs wherever they find themselves.