New Name, New Plans: Telenor Completes Rebranding as Yettel


Mohamed ElSayad

Mohamed ElSayad, chief commercial officer at Yettel Hungary, talks to the Budapest Business Journal about Telenor Hungary’s recent rebranding to Yettel and what’s in store in terms of future innovations.

BBJ: The Yettel brand was launched on March 1 in Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria. What is behind the rebranding, and what does the name Yettel mean?

Mohamed ElSayad: When PPF took over these Telenor subsidiaries, we had a time frame to use the former brand in the region, so we had to change it. The question was whether we switched to another known but licensed brand, or do we develop our own? PPF is a company that believes in value creation; creating our own strong brand will offer much more value. Yettel has no specific meaning; it will mean to customers what content and services we will fill [it with] in the future.

BBJ: Yettel extended the availability of virtual SIM cards to small enterprises and retail clients shortly after the launch. What are the benefits of these eSIM cards?

ME: As of March 8, the virtual SIM card is available to everyone, including Yettel’s B2C customers, as well. With the help of the eSIM, the plastic waste associated with classic SIM cards can be eliminated entirely in the long run. And eSIMs make mobile use more convenient with several benefits like easy and flexible “installation,” and people can trace their devices (in case of loss or theft). Beyond that, eSIMs enable those devices that couldn’t be connected directly to mobile internet before to have a direct mobile Internet connection.

BBJ: What other client benefits were introduced after the rebranding?

ME: Besides our name and image, we have also renewed our entire prepaid and postpaid B2C portfolio: we launched the Yettel Prime postpaid tariff family, which provides different options for unlimited domestic mobile connectivity and can be combined with group-based discounts that make our customers’ life easier. As for the prepaid plans, we introduced one-day unlimited data after each top-up; unlimited internet connection for a longer period is also available.

BBJ: What are the company’s innovation plans for 2022? Can we expect an increase in 5G coverage?

ME: 5G has an essential role in our development plans for sure. After the 5G frequency tender back in 2020, we have the largest capacity in Hungary’s critical 3600 MHz frequency band, so we can build a very robust 5G network in the Hungarian market. Thanks to dynamic network development processes, we already deliver 5G via close to 300 base stations countrywide, and this number is growing dynamically. While we will keep expanding the range of 5G-enabled handsets in our portfolio, Yettel will also introduce further 5G-based commercial solutions in an exciting new way, focusing on households this year. Besides 5G, we are also focusing on ensuring that our customers will get the best customer experience through our touchpoints as well as our services; we are focusing on introducing new digital products that we will be announcing soon for B2C and B2B customers.

BBJ: What is Yettel doing to help refugees arriving from Ukraine?

ME: As a responsible company, we are constantly working in partnership with several aid organizations on how we can help refugees with our own tools and services. We are currently crediting the charges for international calls to Ukrainian telephone numbers; the same applies to roaming data, voice, and SMS charges for our customers in Ukraine. We provide more than 40,000 topped-up SIM cards for free to Ukrainian refugees, with unlimited mobile internet in Hungary on the day of SIM activation, 5GB of mobile internet and 50 minutes of domestic calls (to be used in 30 days), free international calls to base-rate Ukrainian phone numbers (until withdrawal) and free roaming in Ukraine (until withdrawal).

Furthermore, Yettel provides a paid day-off for its volunteer employees to join humanitarian organizations and participate in food distribution, packing and loading tasks. We have organized in-house fundraising, and Yettel will double the amount collected before transferring it to help people in need.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of March 25, 2022.

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