09:46 | 19.02.15 | Interviews | exclusive 156932

Andrey Patoka: “Beeline will remain most customer-centric operator in Armenia”

Itel.am’s exclusive interview with VimpelCom Group Executive Vice President of CIS Business Unit Andrey Patoka.

- What are VimpelCom’s future plans on the Armenian market?

- We have quite aggressive plans. As before, we are going to increase our market share - both in terms of mobile and landline services. I would like the market share increase on both segments to happen at the expense of data transfer services as we see growing interest among consumers.

The number of customers purchasing modern smartphones is growing, and our network is ready for it. We have long launched 3G network in Armenia and we constantly work over enhancing the data transfer speed. Beeline infrastructures now ensure necessary quality of services while using all the key apps and services which have already made part of many people - mobile e-mail, social networks, video services etc. We wish smartphone users to take maximum advantage to the options of these devices at an affordable price.

In the landline network domain, we keep modernization of broadband access, changing technologies to FTTB gradually. It means installment of fiber-optic lines in apartment buildings which will result in up to 70MBps speed. We also strive to make our package offers more affordable.

We seriously consider our plans of further development of mobile segment so as broadband mobile access would cover more territory in Armenia.

But the most important thing is to continue implementing our strategy for enhancing customer service. We stick to being the most customer-centric operator on the market and we want to make our services simple and handy. To reach this goal, we have a number of initiatives, for instance, linked to the improvement of “personal cabinet” and My Beeline Armenia app which allow managing services and tariffs in remote-mode, make online payments for mobile and landline Beeline network and internet.

- How do you assess competition on the Armenian market?

- I am very proud to work in the telecommunication field which is one of the most competitive ones in the world, and Armenian telecommunication sector is no exception in this sense. We welcome competition as it motivates us to think over constantly conquering clients’ hearts, and of course, it is only beneficial for consumers.

- VimpelCom has often spoken about the so-called “corporate mobility”. Please, tell me what is the philosophy of it and is this trend transferable to Armenia?

- I think the concept of “corporate mobility” will enhance the telecommunication operators’ positions. Corporate mobility is in fact the opportunity to run business everywhere. A manager should be able to fulfill all the functions remotely, owing to a mobile device. The work productivity won’t suffer from the fact that associates are not in their workplace as he can perform his duties in any corner of the world.

It’s especially critical now when there are the so-called “home offices”, and varieties of co-working. I believe in the conception and think that it changes our customers’ lives.

- How demanded are and can for instance, Machine to Machine (M2M) services and a number of other innovations be largely applied on major markets?

- We have more and more machines and devices - meant for personal use and business. We believe that the demand for such services will grow. For example, earlier, someone visited all the houses to collect indices of some devices, while now there is not need for it as the devices can send data to the information center through M2M services. The number of such examples is unlimited: various monitoring systems, cars equipped with navigation systems and connection to the emergency service. As anywhere else in the world, the demand for the services will increase in Armenia.

- Several years ago, CEO of VimpelCom Group Boris Nemshich said that VimpelCom considers the option of construction of transport network between Armenia and other countries. Is the project on the agenda and what is done to realize it?

- In the countries of our presence, we build many transport networks, and Armenia is among them. As for transport lines between Armenia and other countries, the issue is of economic significance to us. Now the decision allows us to reach the needed transmission capacity at affordable prices and we pleasantly use it. I can’t say the building of new networks is a priority for us as we don’t have problems with capacities now.

Aram Araratyan talked to Andrey Patoka