Telenor reveals for B92.net how much money it is investing in the new project
Telenor has become the third player on our cable market. Through its new service called Hipernet, it offers fiber optic internet, digital tv and fixed telephonySource: B92.net
Telenor has recently become the third player on our cable market. Through its new service for households called Hipernet, presented to the public last month, it will offer customers fiber optic internet, digital television and fixed telephony.
In an interview with B92.net, Goran Vasić, Telenor’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, speaks about the company's strategic plans on this topic.
“First of all, I want to say that on November 15, our company made a big step forward in terms of business, as we launched a portfolio of fixed services for households. Hipernet includes fixed fiber optic internet, digital television in test version and fixed telephony. We wanted to expand the best network experience that Telenor's mobile service customers already have to households, together with the new generation of digital television and top-notch customer experience”, he said.
B92.net: When we talked at the beginning of the year, you mentioned that no one was talking about what customers really want. So what is it that customers want from cable operators?
Customers want services tailored to their needs and wishes. In terms of fixed internet and cable television, customers have so far been able to choose from a very limited number of options. We want to offer customers a new, different experience and range of services. We believe that Serbia is ready for another strong player in the market of TV content distribution, and we hope that customers will recognize Hipernet as a new, different service.
B92.net: In that regard, how do you plan to get people interested in choosing your services, and not the services of one of the two already existing major competitors?
I would say that there are three main reasons why customers should try Hipernet. First, the best fiber optic internet for the whole household, new generation digital television and a truly superior customer experience throughout the process – from the moment of scheduling the installation onwards. We have focused on what we think “pains” the customers, and we want to be the ones to help take that “pain” away, and ensure customer satisfaction. Our message is clear – try it, test Hipernet and if you like it, keep using it.
B92.net: Digital television, one of the segments of Hipernet, is currently in its testing phase. What does this concept involve, and have you already had first reactions from customers – what kind of feedback have you received from them?
When we developed this service, we thought about what the television of the future would look like. With our version of digital television, we want to remove all the artificial barriers that often exist between customers and the content they want to watch, and to bring them closer to the content they are interested in the most. This concept of television is something completely new in our market, and that is why we decided to launch digital television in test version, and continue to develop it based on customer feedback. This is a common practice for companies that put customers first. Based on the feedback we will receive in the coming period, we will continue to develop new features, including user interface improvements and other improvements in the Hipernet version of the TV app. In other words, customer feedback will help us create an even better product.
B92.net: When will Hipernet come to life at full capacity?
Since we launched Hipernet only a few weeks ago, it is certain that we will need some time to adapt to the market and customers’ needs. With the launch of Hipernet, we achieved our first task, which is to enter the market of broadband Internet access and TV content distribution. The next goal is to develop Hipernet, monitor and listen to what customers want, and most importantly, to demonstrate through quality that Hipernet is the right choice for their households.
B92.net: What are the broader, corporate plans with Hipernet – what level of investment are we talking about and what percentage of the market do you expect to gain in the coming period?
This is the most important milestone for us, because "entering" households is a key driver of our further growth. Telenor has decided to enter the media content distribution market on its own, respecting the rules of fair market competition with other content providers.
Our plan is to invest almost 300 million euros in the next five years, which confirms the company's long-term commitment to development of Serbian telecommunications market.
B92.net: How much are you focusing on attracting customers who already use one of Telenor services you could “combine” services with, and how much on attracting completely new customers? Do existing Telenor customers get any benefits?
We have prepared certain benefits for our existing customers, but we also want customers who have not been with us so far to recognize Hipernet as a service that is completely new and that solves their household needs. We are also aware that there is a significant part of the market that views most of the content via the Internet, and that is why we also offer Internet-only packages for households. All this is in customers’ interest and aims to further develop the market.
B92.net: Both of your competitors in the market have their own strong TV content productions. Are you planning to get involved in that competition as well?
We have just entered the TV channel distribution market and we will remain focused on that. At the moment, we are not thinking about producing our own channels and content.
B92.net: The availability of sports content is a key factor for many when choosing a cable provider. What is Hipernet offering in this regard and do you plan to buy exclusive broadcast rights to some of them?
Even in this test version, Hipernet offers customers relevant TV content, and our goal is certainly to further expand our offer of TV channels over time and make it even richer. We offer a variety of channel catalogs, including top sports content for all the most popular sports or competitions.
B92.net: Both SBB and MTS have apps that allow you to watch TV content on mobile devices, even outside their network. What are your plans for this?
It is a logical step to start developing the app. We plan to launch it for customers in the coming period.