Challenger Yettel Says it is ‘Bolder and Braver’ Than Competitors


Yettel Hungary CCO Nemanja Zilovic.

In his first interview with the Hungarian media, Nemanja Zilovic, chief commercial officer of Yettel Hungary, talks with the Budapest Business Journal about the local market experience, trends, market opportunities, and sustainable trading.

BBJ: You came to Hungary from Yettel Serbia. How have you found the local market? Are there any obvious differences beyond language?

Nemanja Zilovic: Yettel in Serbia is the market-leading telecommunications company focused on maintaining that position, supporting steady overall market growth. In Hungary, Yettel is a challenger with room to grow its market share. To do this, we can be bolder and braver and challenge the whole market with our services and customer-centric approach. Customers in all markets have similar needs, but they do have significantly different habits and relationships with our industry. Consequently, I have taken it upon myself to learn as much as possible about Hungary’s people, culture, customs, and language.

BBJ: What market opportunities do you see for Yettel Hungary?

NZ: We are the only telecommunications service provider in Hungary that focuses on mobile technology and offer mobile and home services based on it at a higher quality than many wired internet solutions. Our large-scale network modernization project is already bringing 5G to many customers and significantly increasing the capacity of 4G, which has national coverage of more than 99%. On the frequency that provides the real benefits of 5G (3600+ MHz), Yettel has the largest contiguous block in Hungary, which offers our customers exceptional access speeds. Based on this network, we were able to launch Yettel TV recently and a home internet solution challenging established players in that domain. Additionally, the whole industry’s future is in the digitalization of products and channels, and I expect Yettel to lead the way in Hungary in digital transformation.

BBJ: What are the market trends? Do you expect any further acquisitions or consolidation?

NZ: The mobile traffic measured on Yettel’s network is growing by roughly 30% every year. People’s hunger for data is, therefore, constantly increasing; I don’t think this will change in the near future. Telecommunications is a robust and crisis-resistant industry, and I think it is natural that anyone who has the opportunity would like to participate in it commercially and/or increase their role in the sector. There is a kind of consolidation going on in the market, and presumably, it is not over yet. The strengthening, expansion and broadening of the range of services of 4iG has no significant impact on our strategy since we have been living with a very similar competitor for many years on the domestic market. We will continue to focus on solutions based on mobile technology in the future and distinguish ourselves in these.

BBJ: What are Yettel Hungary’s ESG targets? Will you hit them?

NZ: Yettel’s ESG strategy is based on four pillars, within which we have formulated a total of 18 goals, from the benefits from the development of 5G networks to digital education and transparent operation. All of these are in different phases, but I can tell you that we are on schedule in all of them. Currently, the environment is the most noticeable to the outside world, including the collection of used devices. Left lying in drawers, they can be dangerous on the one hand, and on the other hand, by reusing or recycling them, we can do a lot for a sustainable mobile ecosystem. We have undertaken to collect at least 20 tonnes of used phones in the years ahead. From market research, we see that the awareness of the Hungarian population can still be improved in this area, so we recently launched a serious educational campaign and, of course, a commercial campaign offering a discount for the return of an old phone; it has only been running for a few weeks, and so far, we see the initiative as an absolute success.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of July 28, 2023.

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