Telekom Srbija opened its representative office in Brussels, not far from the European Commission. As they state in this company, this follows the experience of large telecommunications operators that also have their representative offices in the EU headquarters. The CEO of Telekom Srbija Vladimir Lučić said in an interview with Euronews Serbia that the company is already present in many European countries and that the representative office in Brussels is important because of access to funds, but also because of the exchange of experience with other large companies. He points out that the company has successfully started doing business in Austria and Switzerland, and for this year it also announces the opening of branches in Germany.
What will be the basic activities of the Telekom Srbija representative office in Brussels?
– Telekom Srbija is now already present in 12 European countries, mostly in the Balkans, but we are present in Austria, Switzerland, and since May also in Germany. In fact, we are also present in several countries that are already in the EU. We are also a telecommunications operator in the Western Balkans, which is getting closer to the EU. Therefore, our presence here is very important and we actually follow the experiences of large operators such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and others, who also have representative offices here. Here is the center of EU regulation, a center where you can share experiences with other telecommunications operators. It also gives you the opportunity to access funds, primarily in the development of digital services and 5G infrastructure.
As we are partners with the European Investment Bank in the development of 5G, and as we have a fund for financing startups, we believe that in the sphere of digital services and the development of new 5G technologies, we will be an innovative operator that will apply these innovations not only in Serbia, but also in all countries where we will do business. We will operate in at least 13 European countries.
Why did you decide to open a representative office right here in Brussels?
– Because this relationship with European institutions is very important to us for two basic reasons. One is access and more efficient use on our part in future years of those EU funds for the development of digital services and 5G infrastructure. On the other hand, faster implementation and our understanding of EU legal regulations, especially in countries that are members of the EU, and we are now operating there. There are also representatives of all telecommunications operators, and we have a unique situation where we can meet with them and exchange some experiences. Now telecommunications operators are in a kind of transition. Right now, that discussion is current in Brussels, where telecommunication operators are looking for a share of the income of large Internet players such as Amazon and Google. It’s all done here in Brussels. From that point of view, considering that we want to be a major European operator, this presence is very important.
Also, I must say with pleasure that these offices will also be used by the Euronews Serbia representative office, which is very important because then the news from Brussels will generally be closer to us in Serbia.
You said that you plan to expand further. That it is not only about Brussels and that you will not only have a representative office here. What are the next plans?
– After the successful start of our company in Austria, where we have 150,000 users, we launched Switzerland last year, and this year in May or June we will launch our mobile telephony commercially in Germany. The plan is to have more than 30 branches in Germany. We will offer mobile phone services and our television content to users. Of course, our main target is people from the Balkan region who live in Germany. But in principle, we will also try to take part of the core German market from the competition. Our next step is to expand to the USA. So I think that we as Telekom have created a good combination of standard development strategies of telecommunications operators, and we have taken a little strategy from the big internet players, using the fact that we are already big producers of content in Serbia, from sports to movies, series and music.
We are trying to expand into as many markets as possible to sell those services directly. Telekom Srbija’s revenue outside Serbia’s borders last year was half a billion. We expect a much higher income in the future. And that is our wish in the future, that the income outside the borders of Serbia exceeds the income in Serbia itself and that Telekom Srbija becomes an international company at the level and in the rank of large national telecommunication companies.