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Telecommunications

IN SERBIA

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COMMENT: MINISTRY OF TRADE, TOURISM AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Serbia At The Top Of Europe

The digitisation of terrestrial television in Serbia was the biggest job and greatest endeavour in this domain since 1924, when Radio Belgrade was founded, and 1958, when the first television broadcast in Serbia was emitted

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ith the digitisation of terrestrial Major problems were linked to the beginning of television, Serbia has fulfilled the process of digitising television. During the 1999 all the requirements and standNATO bombing of Serbia, the largest part of radio ards of Europe, so in the field and television infrastructure was destroyed - buildof terrestrial digital television, Serbia is already a ings, equipment, antenna poles, transformers, confull member of the European Union,” said Serbian tainers. Total damage was estimated to be worth Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajić. $420 million. This prompted participants of two At a time when Serbia has difficulty meeting the conferences of the International Telecommunicarequirements and standards of the European Union tion Union (Antalya, 2006 and Guadalajara, 2010), to in many areas of life, it has built a network with techadopt a resolution stating that “public telecommunical parameters and the kind of digital technology nication facilities in Serbia are severely damaged” that only a few countries in Europe possess. The and that “the damage inflicted on public broadtech in question is DVB-T2 technology for the transcasting in Serbia should be a concern of the entire mission of digital signals and MPEG4 technology for international community, especially ITU” and that, the compression of images and sound, made by one “according to current conditions and in the near fuof the largest manufacturers in the world, Rohde & ture, Serbia will not be able to establish its public Schwarz from Germany, and device manufacturers telecommunications system to an acceptable level Cisco, Ceragon, Harmonic, Nevion, Kathrein. Most European Union countries are currently switching to this technology, having previously switched to digital television broadcasting using the first, older, generation of digital devices (DVB-T). With this, Serbia has reached the top of Europe, covering 98.3 per cent of the population with digital signal. The process of digitisation began in 2010, but most of the work was done in late 2014 and the first half of 2015. Thus endeavour has yielded several important results. Serbia switched over to digital television broadcasting via terrestrial transmitters before the deadline established in Geneva, which was 17th June 2015, and before several other countries in the region. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania have yet to complete their digitisation processes. Moreover, Serbia has built the largest network of digital (DVB-T2) terrestrial At a time when Serbia has difficulty meeting the requirements television in this part of Europe, which currently has 224 broadcasting stations, and standards of the European Union in many areas of life, it has equipped with the latest technology built a network with technical parameters and the kind of digital for the transmission of TV signals. With technology that only a few countries in Europe possess 98.37% of the population covered by the digital TV signal, Serbia has reached the peak of Europe, and on state territorial terrestrial without assistance from the international commutelevision it has more coverage than any other netnity, through the provision of funding or through inwork - satellite, cable or IP TV. Of a total population ternational organisations.” of 7,186,862, the digital signal can be received via a Both resolutions were left without impact. rooftop- or indoor antenna by 7,069,716 inhabitants The only assistance Serbia received was a 2010 (98.37%), which is 242,197 more than the required EU donation for the purchase of digital equip95% minimum. ment for the first phase of digitisation, totalling The greatest credit for the achievement of such €8 million. As this was not enough, JP ETV also had results goes to the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telto take a loan from the European Bank for Reconecommunications, and Public Company “Broadcaststruction and Development, with a guarantee from ing Equipment and Communications”, which the Serthe Government of the Republic of Serbia, totalbian Government established to create conditions ling €18 million. Alongside the provision of loans and build a network for the transition from analogue and the purchase of digital technology, came the to digital broadcasting of TV images and sound. restoration, reconstruction or construction of the TELECOMMUNICATIONS

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ising is one of the most significant, cheapest and most profitable projects in Serbia: the total cost for Serbia was about €40 million, including an EU grant of €10.5 million, and by selling the freed spectrum (digital dividend), the Serbian state earned €126.5 million. The EBRD also supported the digitisation project with a loan of €18 million. In addition to that, funds from a grant of the Slovakian Government for market and financial due-diligence ensured the funding to hire consultants who worked closely with ETV's team in implementing the project. At the beginning of 2015, part of spectrum, in a range of 1,800 megahertz, was sold for €21 million, and a few months later the digital dividend was sold for €105 million. Everyone in Serbia today benefits from digitisation. Citizens using a room or rooftop antenna can watch for free, on average, around 15 channels. Around 160,000 impoverished citizens received free receivers (set top boxes - STB) from the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications. More than 100 local and regional TV stations, as demolished infrastructure: facilities, buildings, antenna towers, substations, Renovation and construction of the destroyed infrastructure and power generators. First, the Ministry the digitisation of terrestrial television have been the biggest of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunicajob and greatest endeavour in broadcasting equipment and tions used its own funds to build, reconstruct or restore 25 broadcasting communications since 1924, when Radio Belgrade was founded, and stations of capital importance on the 1958, when the first television broadcast in Serbia was emitted highest mountains, such as Kopaonik, Jastrebac, Avala, Ovčar, Crni, Besna Kobila... Then JP ETV used its own funds, along with well as five national ones, do not have to buy exEBRD loans, to restore another 140 broadcasting pensive transmitters, repeaters and antennas; stations. Renovation and construction of the defurthermore, they do not have to pay charges for stroyed infrastructure and the digitisation of tertheir placement and their maintenance, nor are restrial television have been the biggest job and they obliged to pay compensation to RATEL for greatest endeavour in broadcasting equipment the use of frequencies. and communications since 1924, when Radio BelSerbia, as a country, will not need technologigrade was founded, and 1958, when the first telcal innovation in the field of the broadcasting and evision broadcast in Serbia was emitted. transmission of the digital signal for a long time. That’s because never there has been another Serbia has also, with the aforementioned earntime in the history of our radio and television when ings of €126.5 million, gained the most modern terthere were more than 200 different construction or restrial television network, and will not be required repair locations at the same time throughout Serbia, to invest in new technology and the modernisation in extremely difficult weather conditions. In comof infrastructure for quite some time. parison with other countries of the world, where the In environmental terms, the gain is immense. digitisation of terrestrial television is completed, In the era of analogue television, power consumpSerbia did not have any of the particular problems tion and radiation levels were much higher with that troubled other countries. All countries needed digital devices than they are today. All televiquite some time, even a year or two, to test, try out sion programmes on the territory of Serbia were and adjust their installed digital networks, while in broadcast via the analogue network, with over Serbia that was done before the official release of 400 broadcasting stations and with the use of the digital signal. more than 1,000 transmitters, while the digital Compared to many projects and activities of network broadcasts two transmitters for each of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, digitthe 224 broadcasting stations. ■

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INTERVIEW

Serving Customers at Best The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has represented Europe’s leading telecommunication companies since 1992

LISE FUHR, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE EUROPEAN

TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK OPERATORS' ASSOCIATION (ETNO)

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oday, the business of members has changed dramatically. They provide European citizens with innovative digital communication and services, and compete in highly dynamic digital markets. The role of ETNO’s members is to make sure that the evolution of consumer habits and market dynamics is reflected in policy and regulatory debate. • How has ETNO shaped its regulatory work to suit the new goals set by the European Commission? - It is up to the European Institutions to make political decisions. Our role is to make sure they get first-class information on the market reality, as well as the technical aspects of delivering digital comms and services. At the same time, we ensure that we are the advocate of the diverse needs of our customers. Our companies are there to serve them and we also see our role as contributing to the policy debate to make sure the industry can serve customers at best. • How will the Internet of Things and 5G shape the industry and overall life of citizens, and when will they become their everyday reality? - The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is already taking-off to a large extent. The same can be said regarding the preparation for 5G networks, which will be launched in 2020. However, some companies are gearing up to get there even earlier. IoT and 5G represent a huge societal and economic opportunity. Cities will work smarter, manufacturing will increase production, healthcare provision will improve, retail will be transformed and transports will be revolutionised. To give an example from a consumer perspective, think of connected driving: with 5G, driving will become a whole new experience. It will be safer, richer in terms of entertainment, and also smarter from the environmental viewpoint.

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• What does the Digital Union mean and what tasks do different stakeholders, including ETNO, have in achieving it? - Creating a Digital Union means levering innovation and investment to achieve a 5G and IoT-Europe. In order to get there, we need policies that create more space for private investment and innovation. The European Commission has just put forward a reform proposal to establish the first European Electronic Communications Code. This is a good starting point to develop a new regulatory paradigm, one that stimulates a full range of investment models and technologies to deliver a gigabit society. • What does this vision require when it comes to technological and service innovations and who are, or would be, at the helm of that drive? What is the role of companies, individual states and the Union? - The role of the industry is to respond to customers’ needs. This means heavy investment in a wide range of technologies, as well as increased service innovation. 5G, G.fast, FTTH or FTTC: they are all part of the technological response to creating a connected Europe. At the same time, telecoms operators need to face less regulatory restrictions when they decide to innovate on services. The on-going reform is a unique opportunity to address these issues and ensure we boost investment and innovation. • Considering that the EU comprises countries with different economic circumstances, would they be able to “swim together” in such huge and costly change, and cumbersome institutional harmonisation? - Harmonisation makes things simpler, because companies operating in more than one Member States will find it easier to do business. While operators need to be able to adapt to local circumstances and choose the best technolo-


gies, they all share the same common objective: creating a connected society in Europe. National markets are our home, but the European Single Market is our destination. It will unlock opportunities for business and citizens. We need to grab those opportunities. • The Boston Consulting Group estimates there is a gap of roughly 100 billion euros, though you think it could be even bigger. Who has to chip in and how? - More than 90 per cent of network investment will need to come from the private sector. At today’s investment pace, the vision of a gigabit society might take far too long to be achieved. This is why regulatory reform is so important to unlock fresh investments. Our companies are on a mission: convince investors to pour more money into European telecoms markets. With smart regulatory reform, we will be able to build a stronger case and get better results in terms of roll-out. • You joined ETNO from the internet industry, which is a close industry, yet also a completely different animal which challenged traditional telco services by inventing WhatsApp and similar services that drove telecommunications from its usual path. How do the telcos see those communication super powers? - Internet players are part of the same ecosystem as ours and we are all interdependent. Our companies already collaborate on a daily basis with most internet companies to deliver better services to citizens. Our line is simple: telecoms services should be as free as possible to innovate, just like their internet counterparts. Today, regulation creates asymmetries that pose issues in terms of clarity for consumers and competitiveness of EU actors. We should significantly reduce sector-specific regulation and create more consistency for consumers.

pending on the telecoms operator, you might find that they have an edge on one sector or another. The market is growing, opportunities too: we will need to let companies work and judge in a few years. • Addressing the issues of finance again, let me ask you two more questions. Who will pay for these services, or where will the profit stream come from, bearing in mind, for example, that citizens and industries are demanding faster and ever cheaper services? - Our business models and our offers are shaped by customer needs. The telecoms industry has successfully managed many transitions and is now focused on data connectivity. Our value proposition will continue evolving along with the markets. At the same time, our companies are taking the lead in shaping

The European Commission has just put forward a reform proposal to establish the first European Electronic Communications Code. This is a good starting point to develop a new regulatory paradigm, one that stimulates a full range of investment models and technologies to deliver a gigabit society

• Apart from internet giants, there are many other companies that might want to join the game and compete in super-broadband, smarter transports or ubiquitous high-quality media. In which areas are telcos competitive and where do they have to add new strengths? - Our core business is connectivity and digital services. That is where telcos are focusing. However, 5G is a unique opportunity to empower even more sectors than in the past. This is why companies are strengthening their capacity to support industries as diverse as manufacturing, automotive and healthcare. De-

business models around 5G. Again, this is a process in the making, but everything points to huge opportunities rather than threats. • And, second, there is a security question which also has, among other things, a high price tag, not to mention privacy issues. Again, who will provide for the innovation in this field and who will pay the price? - Security is paramount, as much as it is the trust of our customers. Making sure that all communications are secure is a fact of life for governments, companies and individuals alike. It needs to be seen as an investment, not as a cost. ■

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INTERVIEW

Investing in Customer Confidence After the structural changes over the last year that contributed to better organisation and efficient operations, this year Vip has put in focus further investment in network quality and the creation of new services

DEJAN TURK, CEO OF VIP MOBILE

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s the largest greenfield investor in Serbia, with €927 million invested to date, Vip continues to invest in developing its own applications and digital services, as well as expanding the mobile signal and broadband internet in urban and rural areas, in order to cover more than 70 major cities and towns in Serbia with the 4G network and enable highspeed mobile internet for as much as 77 per cent of the population of Serbia.

also the only operator to cancel call setup fee, while calls to the customer service are now also free of charge. With this offer, we want to change the existing practice and encourage better market competitiveness. We have our own initiative and have consciously decided to abolish fees, which will certainly have a financial impact on our business. However, we are confident that we will, in the long run, retain existing customers this way, because they will be more satisfied, that we will attract many new customers who will recognise the benefits that one only gets with Vip.

• In 2015 you carried out significant structural reforms. How will this impact on your business this year? - During the last year, we have gone through structural changes within the Tele• How far have your plans advanced concerning the implementation of 4G networks, and what are the factors that influence the pace of this work? kom Austria Group that involved the creation of organisational clusters “Serbia - We recently set up an 800 LTE base station in Serbia, and our plan is for us to and Slovenia”, in order to achieve more efficient business organisation and the cover more than 70 towns and cities in Serbia, including smaller towns, with the exchange of the best experiences between markets. In addition, during 2015 we invested more than €77 million in our business, mainly in network development and introducOur successful cooperation with Orion Telecom and Societe ing 4G technology in Serbia. Bearing all of this Generale Bank are good indicators of how companies from in mind, the current year is extremely important to us in terms of achieving results, but we are on different industries can pool their resources in order to offer the right track. During the first six months we customers complementary services that make life and business achieved revenue growth of nearly 12 per cent, easier, and also save time and money and maintained a stable customer base and market share of 22.1%. Considering that we are still the biggest greenfield investor in Serbia, investing €927 million to date, I am 4G network by year’s end, which means that we will provide high-speed mobile satisfied that Vip continues the trend of sustainable growth at all levels. internet for as much as 77 per cent of the population of Serbia. By the end of the year, we will have the largest 4G network in the country. In addition, this year we • Where do you see the answer to the strong competition in the market, pricompleted a major project for the modernisation of our 2G and 3G networks. Users are also offered an increasing number of diverse and integrated marily in the area of harmonisation of consumer expectations, the price of services. services and the sustainability of the business? - We are constantly expanding the mobile signal and broadband internet in ur• What's on your list of priorities until the end of 2016 and during the next year? ban and rural areas, which includes significant investment. As people in Ser- Our focus lies in further investment in network quality and new services. We bia further optimise their mobile communication, we are facing the challenge will continue to develop our own applications and digital services, but also reof how to maintain revenue while responding to their needs and expectations. The solution certainly lies in flexibility, innovation, an offer of useful sermain open for cooperation with various industries and sectors. For example, our successful cooperation with Orion Telecom and Societe Generale Bank vices in collaboration with other industries, and the ability to react promptare good indicators of how companies from different industries can pool their ly to market changes. We have recently introduced a “Try and buy” concept, resources in order to offer customers complementary services that make life thanks to which users can, without any obligations and expenses, try the netand business easier, and also save time and money. ■ work and the services of a mobile operator before deciding to trust it. Vip is

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INTERVIEW

How Does Telekom Srbija Contribute To The Development Of ICT?

PETAR POPOVIĆ,

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BUSINESS CUSTOMER DIVISION AT TELEKOM SRBIJA

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The term “Information and Communications Technologies” appeared at the beginning of the new millennium and represents a logical continuation of the synergies of telecommunications and information services. The modern way of life requires fast and reliable access to information, and users want a single solution for their IT needs, regardless of where their IT resources are located, and ways to access them. It is no longer only important to network, but rather to offer services, tools and complete solutions that needed both in the economy and in society as a whole

onnectivity, as the basic service of telecoms operators, in this way easy to activate, tailored both to users with advanced knowledge of IT and gains a new dimension and importance, but its quality becomes users who have encountered IT exclusively through Gmail and Facebook. crucial. In short, that is actually the essence of ICT concepts and The already know services that are the basis of every ICT market - web approaches. Users are not interested in technology and the way and mail hosting, as well as domain registration, have been offered by Telsomething is implemented; the user only wants to satisfy their needs, as Telekom Srbija, by following world trends on the market, has identified quickly and simply as possible, with customer needs and presented itself as a strong player on the ICT scene, the lowest possible costs. offering an ever increasing number of services and solutions in the ICT When one looks at the telecoms domain. In recent years, Telekom Srbija has invested significant resources market in the Republic of Serbia, an in the development of ICT solutions as part of the process of digital indisputable fact is that Telekom Srtransformation both for the market and the company itself bija has been recognised as the most important factor of development and ekom Srbija since their founding nearly ten years ago. This year, these serinnovation, and that it covers the entire range of telecommunications services, vices are given new, modern attire in the form of the latest Cloud platform, as well as the most advanced ICT solutions. based on the principle of Software as a Service - SaaS. Activation and use Telekom Srbija, by following world trends on the market, has identified of services is as easy as Gmail or Facebook. customer needs and presented itself as a strong player on the ICT scene, The Cloud platform, from which Telekom Srbija offers services in the offering an ever increasing number of services and solutions in the ICT “cloud”, is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the segment of small domain. In the past few years, Telekom Srbija has invested significant resources in the development of ICT solutions as part of the digital transforand medium-sized enterprises, where it is necessary to quickly allocate IT mation to the market and the company itself. resources, without major investment. Providing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) within the framework of Cloud IT is a complex segment, and for many users it is still not clear what they services achieves flexibility in the area of server infrastructure at an unpreceget by using ICT services, with the widespread problem of a lack of IT staff. dented level. The user, regardless of the area of operation and size, is in a position For this reason, many of the ICT services that we offer to our customers are

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to, within a few minutes, raise servers that previously required several weeks, or this part of Europe – with state of the art physical and technical security systems (access control, video surveillance etc.), alongside the perfect even months. In addition to the speed of implementation, for customers it is extremely important that this does not entail any initial costs, that they are billed conditions for the operation of equipment (power and air conditioning, and monthly and are done so through the principle of pay-per-use and pay-as-youredundant optical access). grow, without the need to pre-plan sizing servers for the upcoming period of time. The ICT market is very dynamic and it is essential to have a strong and The introduction of Cloud services and the possibilities of using it to offer reliable partner who it able to follow it. Telekom Srbija, by offering ICT serdifferent software, according to the aforementioned SaaS principle, enables small companies and start-ups dealing with software development to easily reach a huge market, using the sales channels and marketing of Telekom Srbija to promote their software, along with simultaneous hosting software on the latest platforms, with top security and guaranteed availability. The guaranteed security of data, and the fact that data contained on the platform does not leave the borders of the Republic of Serbia, ensures that Telekom Srbija is recognised as a high quality and reliable partner on the ICT scene. Several domestic companies are in the process The Cloud platform, from which Telekom Srbija offers services in the “cloud”, of certifying software, after which they is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the segment of small and will be able to present them to the marmedium-sized enterprises, where it is necessary to quickly allocate IT ket through the Cloud services of Teleresources, without major investment kom Srbija, where Telekom wold carry out payment collection, promotion and vices and complete solutions in this way, frees the end-user of concerns the provision of hosting services for end users. about planning, procurement, maintenance and the operation of essential Cyber security is not only limited to the Cloud. Telekom Srbija is aware that IT resources, allowing them to concentrate on their core business. in today’s times information is worth as much as pure gold, and it approaches By offering ICT services in a simple way, Telekom Srbija allows for betthe issue of security with due diligence. A wide range of services related to security are available to our customers - from the simplest antivirus software, via ter and easier operations, also performing seamless transition from “old-fashioned” ways of doing business with the help of paper or, at best, Excel spreadcontrol of access to the internet, email filtering and SPAM protection, all the sheets, to the modern way of doing business, where a company's management way to the most modern systems for the protection of corporate internet access and systems for protection against DDoS attacks. All systems that are can instantly receive required reports, access the desired data or communicate available to our customers are also systems that Telekom Srbija uses for its own with employees, regardless of where they are and which technologies they use. needs, which means first-class systems and platforms for our users, regardless The development of ICT is not only in more investments or building high of the size of the user. quality and reliable infrastructure, but rather also in the continuous education In addition to cyber-security, Telekom Srbija also offers the option of of both employees and the market itself, and introducing the benefits brought Telehousing, placing user equipment in the most advanced data centre in by ICT transformation, the better use of resources and reducing costs.

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INTERVIEW

Serbia Follows European Trends BRANKO MITROVIĆ,

CHIEF CORPORATE AFFAIRS OFFICER

I expect the new Law on Electronic Communications to allow free cross-border transfer of data, which would open new opportunities for the further development of ICT in Serbia

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he trends in the telecommunications sector in Serbia are following the latest trends, primarily from the European Union, where the leading telecommunications companies invest considerable resources in the further development of networks and the digitisation of society. By following those trends, Serbia in general is not behind Europe.

generation network. Telenor is rapidly expanding map coverage and, after covering the whole of Serbia with 3G signal, we set out to continue the expansion of 4G networks. We have emphasised towns and larger cities, so practically all settlements with more than ten thousand people will have a 4G network. Given that Serbian citizens are very advanced internet users, we have already tested the 5G network, which will have very little delay in the transfer of data and will be one of the preconditions for the development of innovative technologies, particularly are such as the automotive industry, energy industry, e-health, manufacturing and entertainment.

• You have been present in Serbia for over 10 years and you are one of the largest investors. How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your investments in Serbia following all the political and economic changes? - We are extremely proud of the fact that we are the largest single investor in Serbia, with Serbian citizens are very advanced internet users, so we have recently initial investment of 1.53 billion euros. We tested the 5G network. When the country acquires all the legal believe in the investment climate in Serbia, preconditions, Telenor will be ready for the next generation network, which we have proven repeatedly. During our which will enable the further development of related industries and ten years in Serbia, we have invested more will launch a completely new era of interconnected devices. than 445 million euros in the development of infrastructure and services, with a desire to further improve the user experience and find new digital solutions that will Our intention is to provide users with faster and easier to use existing make life easier for citizens. We have proven that we did the right thing by enand new e-government services via mobile platforms, but also to ensure the safety of business on the internet through Telenor Safe – our new digitering the Serbian market with yet another big investment – the opening of Telenor Bank, the first and only online bank in the region. tal service for business users. • How do you assess the trends in the telecommunications sector in Serbia; what can we expect this year and next? - The implementation of technology neutrality and spectrum auctions that were held in Serbia last year, opened up the possibility of developing a fourth

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• Speaking at a recent press conference of the Nordic Alliance in Serbia, you again advocated the introduction of an electronic signature, as one of the prerequisites for reducing bureaucracy. What are the odds that your initiative, after so many years, will become a reality?


- For us, it is very important to simplify the use of the electronic signature and make it available to as many citizens as possible. We believe that their everyday life would become easier and much less time would be spent on unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork. Although it is legally equated with a personal signature, the use of electronic signatures in practice is minimal, and more than 95 per cent of the population has never owned a qualified electronic certificate. There is a common interest among the state, companies and citizens for this player stats change. The draft Law on Electronic Documents, electronic identification and services of confidence in electronic commerce, which should comprehensively regulate this area, is currently under public debate. We believe that there is good will of the state and that this opportunity will not be missed, and that the new law will allow wider use of elec-

BRANKO MITROVIĆ, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Telenor, JASMINA VIGNJEVIĆ, Governmental Affairs Manager at Telenor Serbia, and RASIM LJAJIĆ, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications

tronic signatures, and thus the development of electronic commerce in general.

plete their administrative duties from home, without waiting in line. For the economy, it would create the possibility for their business to morph from traditional to electronic, reducing operating costs and increasing efficiency. Businesses could also offer more digital content and services to customers. • There has long been talk about the implementation of digitisation in Serbia, which NALED and the Ministry of Public Administration insist on. What do you see as the priorities in this area? - The priorities in this area are primarily related to the digitisation of services and content that would be of concern to citizens. These are the services of egovernment that would allow them to easily and frequently use the services of local and national governments without waiting in line. Through the electronic or mobile solutions that Telenor (m-government) proposes, citizens would be able to do all of that through their mobile phones. Here I would point out the fact that the current mobile phone penetration is 130 per cent, which means that in Serbia currently there are more active mobile phones than inhabitants. • Regional cooperation, which the EU insists on, implies better communication among countries, but also technological compatibility in the communications sector in the Western Balkans. What could be brought to our region from that sector based on the experience of the Nordic countries? - The Nordic countries have recognised the potential that regional cooperation carries, and so today, in addition to substantial natural resources, they can boast of operating in Europe’s most developed markets of electronic communications. This fact certainly contributed to the early liberalisation of the telecommunications market and the support given to large capacity investments. Commitment to the development of digital services and “Cloud” solutions enabled an additional boost to the overall economic development of the Nordic region. The area of the Western Balkans has great potential for further economic

We want to be a convergent, digital operator and to provide a comprehensive end-user experience. Telenor has further confirmed this approach through the services of Telenor Bank

• What are the specific benefits of the introduction of the Electronic Registry of Signatures for citizens and businesses? - The benefits would be huge, both for citizens and for the economy. At this time, any transaction requires special hardware (USB, smart card) and special software (which is often complicated for the average user), as well as a series of formalities followed by the costs of issuing qualified certificates. By applying the concept for which we stand, all that would be much simpler. Citizens could, for example, easily and efficiently conclude long-distance contracts. Instead of thinking about how much money and time they need to perform a job for which their physical presence is currently necessary, in the case of a simplified electronic signature we could implement the transaction regardless of where the seat of the seller or supplier is located. In addition, an electronic signature is a prerequisite for the realisation of the ambitions of the Serbian government to digitise public administration, which will enable citizens to com-

development in the further liberalisation of the market and through the provision of conditions for regional Cloud solutions as soon as possible. • When it comes to the global IT sector in Serbia, we can agree that the required human resources exist. Where is Serbia in comparison to developed countries, including Nordic countries? - Serbia does not lag behind European standards in terms of the quality of IT professionals, on the contrary. As an example, I would mention that our engineers are highly regarded in Norway and other countries where Telenor operates, and are often involved in many global projects. I think this is the best indicator of how much potential we have for the future development of engineers and developers in Serbia. ■

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS 2020

B y E C K A RT Z O L L N E R

What Does The Future Hold? The telecoms industry is currently one of the leading growth sectors in the global economy for a number of different reasons, including the emergence of telecommunications as one of the most important components of business, social, cultural and political activity

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esearchers forecast that by 2020, the number of mobile usvestments with network infrastructure in order to distribute their ers will reach six billion and the number of people accessservices effectively to larger volumes of global consumers. The ing the internet will reach 4.7 billion. The average person in lines between network operators and service providers will continue to blur. As more and more services migrate on to digital delivery 2020 will live in a web of 200 to 300 contacts, maintained platforms, such providers will become a new source of telecommudaily through a variety of channels. Several key trends are shaping nication revenue in order to sell their products to their clients. the telecoms industry of the future, for the most part centred on The opportunity for network and service providers stems from rapid growth of data traffic as opposed to traditional voice communications. The insatiable demand for faster, better quality data conthe change that more and more of our daily life will be influenced nections, along with advanced telecoms technologies, will see optiby the manner in which we interact with the digital environment for cal solutions come to the fore, as fibre and high speed wireless beall our professional and private needs. More and more time will be comes the de facto connectivity standard. spent interacting with machines as opposed to humans. Companies New software and application providers will continue to be that figure out how to monetize their business models behind all building customer communities on the back of telecommunicaBusiness models will continue to change and new service models will tion networks. Resulting from incontinue to evolve. Increased competition and pressure on revenue creased deregulation and liberalmeans that network operators are offering new services and Over the ization, consumer choice means that loyalties to providers is no Top (OTT) Content providers have to become involved in investments longer governed just by the proviwith network infrastructure in order to distribute their services sioning of communication serviceffectively to larger volumes of global consumers es, but by the benefits to the consumer over these networks and the convenience and cost savings that are being offered. Consumthese increased interactions and transactions will become far more ers are utilizing multiple providers governed by the application that successful than companies holding on to traditional business and they invoke, by their geographic location and by the content that is service models. being consumed. All of these developments stem from the shift of focus away Business models will continue to change and new service models from owning infrastructure or software to owning, understanding and servicing the customer. By virtue of the fact that licensing will continue to evolve. Increased competition and pressure on revenue means that network operators are offering new services and and technology in a deregulated market have become available to Over the Top Content (OTT) providers have to become involved in inalmost anyone, this very same technology is no longer a competi-

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

INNOVATIONS & INVESTMENTS


The opportunity for network and service providers stems from the change that more and more of our daily life will be influenced by the manner in which we interact with the digital environment for all our professional and private needs tive advantage but a necessary enabling platform to build digital services and capture the maximum amount of wallet share from the customer. What all of this means for business and consumers is an always on and always connected environment? Connected amongst people, amongst businesses, as well as connected to our homes, our cars, our machines and our data stores. Constant surveillance by data analytics, by closed circuit cameras and by social networks. Large amounts of data being gathered and analysed about our life, our habits, our businesses and our behaviour. Analysis of all the date will be used to become more efficient, targeted and more effective when selling services and solutions. One thing all of these trends have in common is that they are driven by data. The need for faster, more affordable, more available data is driving the increasing deployment of fibre and high speed wireless, this journey has been a long time coming, beginning with inter-continental connections and then moving on to local long haul city-to-city and metros. “All of the megatrends of today, from connected cities, businesses and homes to mobility and the IoT, require high bandwidth availability and security, low latency and strict synchronisation.

Forecasts 2016-2020 By 2020, the mobile consumer population will be six billion, and those using internet services through these devices will tip at 4.7 billion. The demand and production graph for telecom services as compounded by Market Analysis Report is concrete in European, U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions. The M2M industry will rush in $4.5 trillion and enterprise mobility will have a market of $140 billion by 2020 year end. The two key trends in smartphone users in Telecom Industry Business Outlook are the facility of video streaming and audio playback, encouraging them to utilize a large percentage of gigabyte data each month. The Cloud services will amount $241 billion by 2020, whereas wireless network will avalanche at CAGR 15 per cent in the same period, rising to $13 billion, as per Telecom Services Market Research Reports. Due to eminent data technology platforms, its infrastructure by 2020 will brim at 33 zettabytes, and 57 per cent digital information will be accessed only from mobile phones, projects the Market Analysis Report. The Internet of Things is also leading by generating $15 trillion money value for the Telecom Industry Business Outlook in the arenas of productivity, customer base, efficiency and cost cut.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

INNOVATIONS & INVESTMENTS

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