Nenad Zeljković, CTO A1 Serbia and A1 Slovenia: We Create Solutions that Simplify Life

A1 Serbia is strongly committed to the development of such technologies that are the future, but also the present

As one of the largest European operators, with more than 25 million customers in 7 countries, we have the opportunity to implement products and services from other A1 markets in Serbia and vice versa.

Nenad Zeljković, Chief Technical Officer A1 Serbia and A1 Slovenia

A1 is one of the most innovative companies in the region; how do you perceive the Serbian market when it comes to innovation and what are A1’s plans in this field?

Digitization is penetrating every area of society and economy it has become a powerful field for the development of various innovative services. However, only those solutions that have a concrete use-value and in all aspects improve and simplify life in the digital era are endorsed in the market.

A1 Serbia is strongly committed to the development of such technologies that are the future, but also the present. On a special internet platform, we have presented numerous advanced ICT solutions that can already be used by our customers for greater efficiency, security and expansion of their businesses.

What benefits can the development of ICT solutions bring to the economy?

Advances in ICT have brought about a sea of savings, opportunities and benefits for companies. Some of them are: highly automated business processes that have reduced costs and the Big Data Revolution, where companies use the vast amount of data generated by ICT technologies to create new products and services or further optimize their business. One of the main drivers of digital business transformation in modern business is the Internet of Things technology. Narrowband-IoT is the most reliable global technology for more efficient, secure and cost-effective data transfer for Internet-connected devices. It is particularly important for business customers because it connects devices in almost all conditions and provides a wide range of applications. Following the needs of the market, we have covered more than 90 percent of the territory of Serbia and made it accessible to 99% of the population. Therefore, we are the absolute leader in the region and beyond.

During the first six months from the rebranding to A1, you received the Ookla award. What is the next big step for A1?

Since the beginning of this year, we have improved the network capacity in all major cities (Belgrade by 40%, Kragujevac by 25%, Niš by 29%, Novi Pazar by 39%, Kraljevo and Kruševac by more than 50%, Novi Sad by 81% Sombor by more than 100% and many others). As much as 70 percent of our network has been significantly enhanced, owing to which a considerable number of A1 customers will have an improved user experience. I am particularly pleased that our network has been recognized as the Fastest mobile network in Serbia by Ookla, a global leader in Internet speed and performance testing and the company behind the world’s most popular speed measuring app – Speedtest. The next major step is definitely the introduction of the 5G network.

“Since the beginning of this year, we have improved the network capacity in all major cities”

Certain markets have already introduced 5G technology. What are your experiences?

The introduction of the 5G network is no longer a “nice to have” but a “must have” conditioned by the growing need of customers for higher volumes of data transfer and the development of new more demanding services primarily in terms of less latency. The 5G spectrum auction is anticipated in Serbia. In most countries in the region where the auction was finished, the implementation phase is underway and in the countries where 5G has already been released, such as in Austria and Slovenia, for example, the impressions are positive. 5G will also enable a significantly larger number of connected devices, which will provide much wider possibilities for further development – from automation of agricultural processes and traffic to the evolution of digital solutions and substantially better user experience in all segments of private and business life.

Are you working more closely with Telekom Austria Group and what does that cooperation bring to the customers?

The synergy of expertise and knowledge within the Group has already resulted in the development of the Cumulosity IoT and Exoscale Cloud Platform. We took part in the development of the SARA digital platform, which is used to support the introduction and operation of existing RAN networks in all A1 countries and which brought us the prestigious “Leading Lights Award 2020”. We have recently presented the first solutions in the field of Internet security- Offencity and A1 Net Protect. We plan to keep going at the same pace.

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