Here we speak with Dejan Turk, CEO at both Vip Mobile and A1 Slovenija, about the exciting world of innovations that this company has brought to the Serbian market.
Vip mobile this year marks its 10th anniversary of doing business in Serbia. How would you evaluate results to date?
– Telekom Austria Group acquired the license for Serbia’s third mobile operator in November 2006, for which it paid 320 million and one euros, while Vip mobile launched commercial operations in June 2007. We practically started from scratch, while today we are a company with over 1,000 employees, stable revenues, more than 2.2 million users, a market share of 23% and the fastest mobile network in the country, according to company Ookla, which is the global leader in internet speed and performance testing.
We are still the biggest greenfield investor in Serbia, having to date invested as much as 960 million euros. I believe Serbia needs investors like Vip, which have a long-term strategy.
What are you particularly proud of in these ten years of operations?
– The innovations we brought have created a turning point in the development of new trends on the domestic market. For example, we were the first to introduce tariffs that included megabytes and phones for 1 dinar, as well as the first Android and tablet devices, launched the first HSPA+ network in Serbia for fast data transfers, and then also the 4G network. From the very beginning, we have sought to make mobile communication and smart devices accessible to the widest range of users, but also to educate them on the benefits of new technologies.
We recently again set an example to other players on the market with our NEO tariffs, which offer unlimited conversations and messages to all networks in Serbia. Interest is high among Vip users, but also the users of other networks who transfer their number to us, and we expect this trend to continue.
We want to make a significant contribution to the digitization process in Serbia, which is why we will focus not only on the transfer of contents via the mobile network, but also on their creation
What are your further plans for development of the 4G network?
– We are still one of the fastest growing operators in the region, which, among other things, is a result of continuous investment in the development of the network. Over the three-year period from 2015 to 2017, our investments in the network, licenses and technology amounts to more than 100 million euros.
At this moment, the Vip 4G network covers around 95 per cent of the population of Serbia, both urban remote rural areas. Users demand a fast and reliable network, which is why we will continue to improve their experience. We are aware that, with the development of infrastructure, we contribute to the development of the operations of the economy, production and improvement of the quality of life of citizens, and that this is the basis for the introduction of new, more advanced services.
In which way will Vip mobile position itself on the market in the future? What are your future plans in terms of market innovation?
– The market is evolving rapidly, because users have an ever-increasing number of devices that need connecting to the internet and want faster rates of data transfer. They are also increasingly seeking additional contents and digital solutions. Vip is primarily a mobile operator, and our focus remains on improving the network, technology and services, but we have also recognised the need to turn to other contents, all-in-one solutions and services that have long been a part of our portfolio, from the cloud platform to mobile TV and other digital services. We want to make a significant contribution to the digitisation process in Serbia.
It is for this reason that we will focus in the coming period not only on the transfer of contents via the mobile network, but also on their creation, independently or through partnerships with other industries.