How will Telekom Srbija contribute to the future success of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce?
Vladimir: We hope our premium membership of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce will help us to extend the hand of friendship, trust and partnership to a broad sweep of like-minded organisations and entrepreneurs. Our guiding vision is to be a trusted global partner in the new digital era. As part of this endeavour, we have been establishing and strengthening partnerships with world-class organisations including Vodafone, Bloomberg, Euronews, European Investment Bank and Bank of America.
Importantly, Telekom Srbija has also resolved to be a positive force for Serbia, creating socio-economic opportunity through sustainable growth globally. We want to create opportunities for new, talented digital trail-blazers. With this in mind, we established our Corporate Venture Capital Fund (https://tsv.fund) to accelerate and drive the early growth of the most innovative digital businesses.
How is Telekom Srbija investing in innovation and new content at home, in the UK and internationally?
Vladimir: Our Corporate Venture Capital Fund, the first of its kind in Serbia and the wider region, is investing EUR 25 million in the most promising start-ups over the next four years. These start-ups are offering advanced digital services, many of which will be optimised for 5G. More information about the fund and how to apply either as an investor or entrepreneur, can be found here.
Earlier this year, the fund also entered into an agreement with Microsoft, which will provide each of the fund's start-ups with software services worth up to EUR 150,000.
Investment for a forthcoming 5G roll out across Serbia will be provided via a
EUR 70 million loan to Telekom Srbija from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
In addition, during the past five years, Telekom Srbija has invested 95 million Euros in the production of over 90 new television series and films. Currently, our television series are broadcast in 14 countries across five continents via Disney Plus and Amazon Prime services.
We are also committed to the delivery of premium content to our valued subscribers, wherever they are. So, we are continuing to invest in the acquisition of world-class content. We have launched four new Euro Cinema TV channels, broadcasting iconic films and TV series in French, German, Italian and Spanish. We are also actively searching for partners to give our subscribers access to compelling, high quality, entertainment, premium sports and news programming on our broadcast channels.
How is Telekom Srbija extending its reach to the Serbian diaspora?
Vladimir: Over the past five years, Telekom Srbija has substantially evolved. We have established ourselves as the leading exclusive digital content provider in the region and to a diaspora of over 15m people around the world.
On 17th July we launched MTEL Germany, which now provides mobile voice and data services to our customers in the region, alongside an existing multimedia offering. The launch follows our successful MTEL launches in Austria and Switzerland. We now offer coverage across the whole of the DACH region, while also broadening access to our services among the Serbian diaspora residing there.
We now operate beyond Serbia in seven other European countries: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. We also expect to launch in Turkey by the end of this year. This is part of an exciting long-term strategy to expand in the EU. We also have ambitious plans for further growth globally in the US and Canada, which will further extend our reach among the global Serbian diaspora.
How is Telekom Srbija accelerating the digital transformation of Serbia?
Vladimir: Telekom Srbija is focusing intently on accelerating Serbia's digital transformation. The following digital transformation initiatives were progressed:
Telekom Srbija has been preparing to boost its infrastructure through 5G, fibre-optics and data storage capacity. Enhancing our network with the introduction of 5G will make it possible for us to greatly increase the efficiency of our operations, optimise costs and improve customer experience.
We are preparing for a forthcoming 5G spectrum auction, followed by the implementation of a 5G Network primarily in Serbia, but also in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This endeavour will be an important building block of a digitalised infrastructure fit for a bright digital future throughout the Western Balkans and beyond.