The Telenor Group is the leading telecommunications company in Norway and one of the leading mobile operators in the world in terms of subscription. The company is also the biggest provider of television services in the Nordic region, while at the same time being present as the mobile operator in some of the fastest growing markets. Headquarters of the Telenor Group are located in Oslo, Norway. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. With the end of the third quarter of 2009, the Telenor Group has achieved 172 million of mobile subscriptions worldwide and it currently employs approximately 40.000 people in thirty countries.
As it is widely familiar, Norway, as well as other Scandinavian countries, is known as extremely developed technology market in the beginning of the 21st century, achieving some of the highest penetration rates for new technologies, such as mobile phones and high – speed internet. This actually represents a kind of tradition of the country, having in mind the fact that in 1855 the first telegraph line has been built, followed by the first telephone network connecting the cities of Arendal and Tvederstrand in 1878. Furthermore, Norway was one of the first world countries to introduce mobile telephone system in 1967, which was analogue – based and manually operated.
In order to understand business operations of Telenor, it seems necessary to make a short historical overview of the company’s origins. Beginnings of the Telenor Group date back in 1855 when it was established as a state – operated monopoly, bearing the name Norwegian Telegraph Administration – NTA (also known as Telegrafverket) and offering the provision of telegraph services. In the last decade of the 19th century, development of the Norway’s early telephone network was handled by private companies. Norwegian Telegraph Administration, which was in the ownership of the state, gradually took over the privately owned companies in the market and gained control over the sector. Since then, Telenor gained more than 150 years of telecom experience. In 1969, the NTA changed its name to Televerket, also known as Norwegian Telecommunications. With the purchase of Andebu, the last privately owned company in the sector of telecommunications in 1974, Televerket obtained control of the monopoly of the services of telephone and telecommunications and retained that position till the beginning of the last decade of the 20th century. By the beginning of the 1990s, the company pioneered a new generation of mobile telephone services based on the GSM protocol, which was later accepted and implemented thought Europe. GSM service was launched in 1993 and was followed by the expansion of the company in the field of television broadcasting. This strategic decision provided the company with the opportunity to position itself as the dominant provider of satellite – based broadcasting in the Scandinavian region.
Since the Norwegian authorities had a tendency to deregulate the telecom sector in the country, the process of deregulation commenced in 1994 and lasted till 1998, with a partial deregulation – sector by sector. Even before the government deregulation began, Televerket started with the company restructuring which lasted for four years and included the transformation of the company from a state – owned to a public company, as well as the change of the company name to Telenor in 1995. Additionally, the company was a subject of partial privatization in 2000, which gave it a substantial boost of 15.6 billion NOK of new capital and listed it on the Oslo Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. At the beginning of the privatization process, the Government remained the owner of 77.7% of the company, while this percentage was reduced to 53% by 2006. The company was rankedtop performer bythe Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes in 2007 and 2008.
The main services which Telenor provides to its consumers and companies worldwide include the following segments: voice, data, content and other services.
* In the segment of Voice, Telenor provides people to talk to each other by using fast and reliable networks. This segment focuses on the conversation on the phone, including fixed – line, mobile or IP telephony. Fixed voice communication services are provided for users in three countries of the Nordic region and mobile voice in twelve different countries in Europe and Asia.
* The segment of Data encompasses of the Internet and broadband services. The company offers fixed – line data services like ADSL and fiber-optic communications in the countries of the Nordic region, and mobile data services such as mobile broadband, GPRS, UMTS in 12 countries. From the beginning of 2008, the company has started 3G – based mobile broadband services inseven of its markets.
* In the field of Content, TV services and mobile content, Telenor offers TV services via cable, digital terrestrial and satellite networks in four Nordic markets. Furthermore, the company also provides mobile content services in several markets, such as mobile TV, sports, ring tones, music and movies.
* As far as otherservices are concerned, Telenor has a diversified offer that consists of services, which are telecom – related, and the service portfolio is different from one country to another. Depending on the market, the company provides services in the filed of maritime communications, IT consulting, and aircraft communications services. In several markets the company provides Net-centric services, which refer to the IT security for individual consumers and enterprises and machine – to – machine (M2M) services for enterprises.
The major part of the Telenor`s activities is organized in three regions and includes thirteen countries:
– Asia: Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand and India.
– Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
– Centraland Eastern Europe: Hungary, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.
From the beginning of the 1990s, Telenor begun with its international expansion in the field of mobile communications, penetrating the markets of the following countries: Russia in 1994, Bangladesh, Greece, Ireland, Germany and Austria in 1997, Ukraine in 1998, Malaysia in 1999, Denmark and Thailand in 2000, Hungary in 2002, Montenegro and Pakistan in 2004, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Serbia in 2006. Operations in Greece, Ireland and Germany were sold and the money obtained from this sale has been re – invested in the emerging markets. Additionally, in 2005 Vodafone in Sweden was acquired by Telenor.
Telenor’s primary objective is to create greater value for its shareholders, customers, employees and partners, and for the society in general. The company is dedicated to being at the forefront in creating, simplifying and introducing communication and content solutions to the marketplace. In order to comply with the given goal, Telenor bases its strategy on its customer oriented vision, Here to Help, as well as its core values, Make it easy, Keep promises, Be inspiring and Be respectful. Telenor’s main strategy is to upgrade the performance of the local mobile operations by combining Groups industrialization with local drive and responsiveness, in the regions where it conducts its business operations: Nordic region, Eastern and Central Europe and Asia. Furthermore, the company plans to maintain its leading position in the Nordic region with a diversified portfolio of communication services. This strategy could be defragmented to the following focus areas:
1. Strengthening of the position of the company as an international mobile operator. Telenor plans to continue the process of strengthening its industrialization of the mobile operations by gaining control over chosen mobile companies. Control is crucial in order to benefit from synergies obtained by cross – border activities, such as scale in procurement, development of new services and implementation of best practices, improvement of operational efficiency and the increase of the overall profitability. Telenor plans to manage the non-strategic investments as financial investments and to exit from international mobile operations where the company cannot obtain control over time.
2. Strengthening of the company’s position in the Nordic region.
Telenor will continue to upgrade its services in the field of mobile and fixed telephony in the Nordic region by using the benefits obtained from economies of scale and cross-border synergies. The company strongly feels that its Nordic presence will improve support to the customers by improving upon its expertise both mobile and fixed services.
3. To find itself at the forefront of communications services providers in Norway.
Since the company is the leader in a broad range of services in both the residential and business markets in Norway, Telenor will try to obtain better results in the sense of its profit in the mobile and fixed fields of activity, through the introduction of new services and through various cost-cutting measures.
4. Maintaining of the position of the leader in field of distribution of TV services to consumers in the Nordic region. Telenor additionally insists on finding new possibilities and solutions which will contribute to the strengthening of its strategic position as the leading distributor of subscription based television in the Nordic region. The company will dedicate its activities to contact and attract new users and increase revenue per user through its attractive content and new interactive services.
5. Non – strategic companies. Telenor will enhance the value of those companies, which are not strategic for its main business areas and dispose of all or part of its interest in such companies.
Even though Telenor is present in the three dominant regions of the world, the Nordic region is the one where Telenor group has been present since 1855, and the company has held a strong position in the Scandinavian region ever since. The Nordic region is the one from which the majority of Telenor`s income comes from. As it is shown in diagrams 1 and 2, in the first quarter of 2009, 41% of total company revenues came from this region, as well as 37% of EBITDA distribution.
Table 1. Revenue distribution (first quarter of 2009)
Table 2. EBITDA distribution (first quarter of 2009)
The three markets out of which the Nordic region is composed of, in fact represent specific markets with unique differences. For example, although Sweden still has a high use of fixed – line telephony, it finds itself at the forefront of the mobile broadband services. Denmark is the market whose customers are the keenest users of SMS and are most interested in content services. Finally, Norwegian customers show growing interest in digital music services and Telenor Group has a high share on this market. The Nordic region is also significant since Telenor combines present and future technologies in the telecom field. As a supplement to existing offers, Telenor provides new broadband technologies, such as Fibre – to – the – Home (FTH) and Long Term Evolution (LTE), the 4th generation mobile broadband standard. The strong distinction between fixed and mobile telephony is slowly vanishing in these markets. According to the data obtained from…..there is an evident transition from fixed to mobile networks. The data implicate that the mobile share of voice traffic has increased from 20% in 2003 to 60% in 2008. This is one of the reasons why Telenor acquired Vodafone in Sweden in 2006. Furthermore, the company now has 4G licenses in Norway and Sweden. In order to build networks and share spectrum of mobile communication, Telenor has joined Tele2 in a joint venture. The plan is to launch the LTE – based broadband services by the end of 2010. This action will position Telenor as the leader of the 4G development worldwide. The same project is planned for Norway, with the difference that it will start in 2011.
The Telenor Group has penetrated the Asian region in 1996, through the investment in Grameenphone in Bangladesh. From the very beginning of its operations in Asia, the market has been the cornerstone of the development of the Telenor Group, enabling opportunities for growth in one of the most populated and fastest growing markets in the world. Additionally, mobile operations in Asia have a significant contribution to the total revenues and EBITDA of the Group. Data obtained in the first quarter of 2009 show that the region generated 30% of the revenues, 28% of the Group’s EBITDA, and a total of 67 million mobile subscribers of the region. The company has received many awards for innovation and services in the past ten years and has been the driving force in the network development of Asia. Additionally, it has significantly increased the capacity of the regional network and provided coverage, connecting millions of people in new areas, who were previously unconnected. Over the past few years the Asian mobile market has been growing significantly. The growth is additionally stimulated by continuous innovations and new services provided by the company. The Group is active in the markets of Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh, and the company holds 3G license in Malaysia. Another important step of Telenor was the acquisition of Unitech Wireless in India, through which the company penetrated one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the mobile markets of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia became a part of Telenor`s business operations. The main characteristic of these markets is the growth opportunity, making it significant part of the Telenor`s strategy in the years to come. Even though the markets of Central and Eastern Europe are challenging economic environment due to the process of transition, which these countries have undergone or are still undergoing, mobile operations of the Group deliver solid financial performances. The first quarter of 2009 shows that Telenor generated 17% of Group’s total revenues and 32% of EBITDA. The region also generated 93 million of mobile subscribers. Also, the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia has achieved rapid growth in mobile subscription both in consumer, as well as business markets. The company is currently involved in investments in the 3G network in Hungary, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro. The priority is given to the new technological and eco – friendly solutions, like the wind and solar powered base stations in Hungary, and testing of the new generation wireless broadband in Montenegro.
Telenor`s presence in the Balkan region started at the beginning of 1990s when the company launched its operations in Hungary in 2002 by operating Pannon, followed by activities in Montenegro through Promonte and finally, Serbia in 2006.
Telenor penetrated the Serbian market through the purchase of the Serbian company Mobi 63, Serbia’s second largest mobile operator and this actually represents the largest privatization transaction in the central and eastern Europe in 2006, as reported by the audit company PriceWaterHouseCoopers. Telenor Group outbid two other short listed competitors at the auction (Mobilkom from Austria and Orascom Telecom from Egypt), offering a bid of 1.513 billion euros. Telenor took over the company on 31st of July 2006, upon the completion of all legal requirements and the signing of the Sales Agreement. The entire auction was broadcasted live on the Serbian national television and was attended by the highest state representatives. Mobi 63, formerly known as Mobtel, was formed by the Government of Serbia in the month of April of 2006, upon the revocation of the operator’s mobile license, which occurred due to the illegal dealings of the company’s previous owners, who were suspected to have sold the operator’s license in Kosovo to Mobikos, without requesting permission from the official authorities of Serbia. The Government then proclaimed that the sale was a threat to the national security.
The acquisition of Mobi 63 made by Telenor includes a ten – year license for GSM 900/1800 and 3G operation for the company, which is renewable for a successive period of ten years upon application. Additionally, the company also obtained Mobi 63`s existing assets, which included the base of approximately 2.5 million customers (in the end of 2005).
In just three months upon its arrival to the Serbian market, Telenor invested approximately 15.3 million euros in the equipment of the highest technology, necessary to meet the requirements of the planned network expansion on the territory of Serbia. For this purpose, Telenor signed cooperation agreement with Erickson. Additionally, another contract with the Erickson Company worth 40 million euros for the purpose of network improvement was signed by the end of 2006. The main objective of these investments was to upgrade the quality and the capacity of the existing network, which consequently brings additional quality and services to its users. The actual benefit for the users of the Telenor network is its expanded coverage and good quality. Starting form March 1st 2007, the company enabled the use of commercial services in Serbia, provided by the 3G mobile broadband technology, which consequently provides its users with the possibility to get easier and faster access to the contents on the internet, such as movies, music videos or TV program.
When Telenor acquired Mobi 63 in August 2006, the company had 926 employees. The newly appointed top management reached a strategic decision to take over the entire infrastructure of the company, as well as its personnel, meaning that there will not be any reduction in the number of employees. In fact, quite the opposite thing occurred in the next three years: the number of employees gradually started growing. In the end of 2007 there had been approximately 1000 employees. By the end of 2008, this number grew to 1100, and finally on December 31st 2009, Telenor had a total of 1207 employees.
Table 3. Increase of the number of employees in Telenor Serbia.
Source: HR department of Telenor
Having in mind that the field of telecommunications is exposed to everyday changes, Telenor`s employees are expected to adapt to them, set their own objectives in their segment of work, as well as to take on new responsibilities and discover their new talents. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the company organized a number of trainings, seminars and workshops for its personnel. Through these actions, Telenor tends to provide continuous professional growth and expertise opportunities. Some of the most important ones are:
– Trainings for future leaders
– Welcome trainings
– Codes of conduct
– Human resource management
– Communication skills trainings
Telenor`s Code of Conduct is one of the key principles upon which the activities of the company are based. This document includes a set of employee policies that cover ethical and legal practices for nearly every aspect of the business. It focuses on the personal responsibility and each employee has to conduct business legally and ethically. Also, it defines ethical rules of behavior for the company’s business partners, as well as users. Corporate ethics is very important in the company. The principles of corporate ethics are applicable to all members of the company, including the members of the managing board and top management and all other employees, who represent Telenor on any occasions. Furthermore, the company launched the so called HIT Project, which was encouraged by the television reportage made on one of Telenor`s subcontractors in Bangladesh, who was an obvious example of a company which contributes to bad work conditions, pollution of the environment and child labor. The project focuses on four elements: health, safety, security and environment, and its main objective is for Telenor to emphasize to its business partners the importance of respecting labor and human rights laws. Therefore, Telenor follows the activities of its suppliers in the field and remains in constant touch with them.
Furthermore, human resource management conducts the employee satisfaction survey on a yearly basis in order to get a feed back from the employees about the level of their satisfaction, as well as the issues that could be improved and changed within the company. In 2009, the survey was conducted for the third consecutive year and a total percentage of employees which participated was 96.3%. The survey is conducted among all employees in the end of every working year, and concentrates on several important areas of employee satisfaction: satisfaction with job position and work conditions, communication and interpersonal relations within the company, leadership, bonus systems and career opportunities. Results obtained from the survey serve as the foundation for strategy planning for the upcoming years. This point is of particular importance in order to include the opinion of the staff in the process of future strategy defining and decision – making, so that everyone can feel that they are a part of it.
Top management of the company tends to combine its international experience and the local potential of the country where it operates. In the first year of its activities in the Serbian market, Telenor introduced a large number of significant innovations and new services important for the subscribers. Some of the most innovative products and services offered to the Serbian users are:
– New prepaid telephone numbers and new channel of sale Telenor Express.
– Mobile e – mail service.
– The first internet parks in Serbia.
– Cheaper roaming prices for Telenor users in Hungary and Montenegro
Telenor express is the channel of direct sales to customers, which has long and successful tradition in other markets where the company conducts its activities. The new prepaid numbers were introduced in all newspaper stands in Serbia, but could also be purchased through the Telenor Express channel of sale. Approximately twenty five express sales teams are traveling throughout Serbia with specially designed sales stands. In this way the company tries to have direct contact with the customers, to be closer and more available to them, as well as to offer new and innovative sales possibilities and good quality services. Additionally, new prepaid numbers are offered at a much lower rate than previously applied, and each package has higher value than the nominal value of the package. Persons, who decide to purchase a more expensive package, get substantially more free conversation minutes, as well as free text messages, than the ones who purchase a cheaper package.
Mobile e-mail is a service dedicated firstly to those who are business users, with the main purpose to facilitate their activities when they find themselves outside the office and need immediate access to their computers. Furthermore, this service enables its users to access and handle their e-mails, calendar and phonebook. The service is compatible to the programs used on their original computers, and can be used by downloading a special software from the Telenor website.
From December 1st 2006, Telenor users have the possibility to pay lower prices for roaming services in Hungary and Montenegro, thanks to Telenor network. At the same time, these prices are the lowest prices in comparison to other mobile operators in Serbia. On average, with this service, Telenor users in the Montenegro` s network Promonte are charged 15% less for their voice calls. Additionally, incoming calls from any destination are free of charge for postpaid users in this network. As far as the Hungarian Pannon mobile operator is concerned, prices of outgoing calls are approximately 60% lower, calls made to local mobile and fixed telephone numbers are 25% cheaper, including incoming calls. Calls made to other destinations are 40% cheaper. Additionally, Telenor subscribers have the opportunity to exchange MMS messages with people in ten different countries. The first countries and operators which established this kind of service with Telenor in Serbia are: 02 in Germany, Pannon in Hungary, Telenor in Pakistan, Telefonica 02 in Checz Republic, Sonofon in Denmark, Sunrise in Switzerland, ONE in Austria, Globul in Bulgaria, Telenor in Norway and DIGI in Malaysia.
In June 2008, Telenor opened the first internet park in Belgrade, which at the same time represents the first park of this kind in Serbia. People can have free access to the internet and connecting of their portable computers to the internet network is possible either through the wireless connection, or via USB modems, which are located in different places in the park. In the first three months, citizens of Belgrade, as well as other visitors, had the opportunity to test all possibilities of the Internet network free of charge, while enjoying the open air at the same time. Instructions for the connection to the network are displayed on visible places in the park and offer simple explanations through several easy steps. In just several months upon the opening of the first internet park in Belgrade, similar concept was implemented in other Serbian cities: Nis, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Kraljevo. In this way, citizens of these cities have the possibility to check their e-mails or search the internet sites for various contents.
Mobile communications contribute to the social integration, having in mind the fact that people can be in touch no matter where they find themselves. However, for a significant number of people worldwide, communication services still represent a luxury and are not available to them. Access to this type of services, in a way, represents the means to fight poverty, ignorance and bad health conditions, as well as to enable people to improve their living situation. One of the main objectives of Telenor is to strive towards creation of value in modern society by offering the possibility of communication services to as many people as possible.
In 2007, the auditing company Deloit did a thorough analysis of Telenor`s markets in Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Ukraine and Serbia which pointed to a very close connection between mobile telephony penetration and the increase of the GDP exists. The analysis pointed out to the fact that the increase of 10% in mobile communications could lead to the GDP rise of approximately 1.2%. Furthermore, the study showed that business operations of Telenor have positive contribution to the upgrading of the productivity level, economic welfare, improvements in health and education systems, improvement of conditions in rural areas and social groups with low incomes.
Besides the focus on its business operations, Telenor also directs its activities towards the responsibility towards the local community in which it operates. An evidence to support this claim is the fact that Telenor Group is listed in the first position among twenty four leading mobile operators in the world on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index list, which ranks companies according to the criteria of their overall financial, social and ecological impact on the environment.
Upon its arrival to the Serbian market, the top management of the company immediately started to develop different strategies concerning the beginning of the work in the field of corporate responsibility. For that purpose, Telenor established its own Foundation in March 2007, and in this way the company continued to invest in the development of Serbia’s social potentials.
“The main objective of the Foundation is to initiate and support different types of projects and to develop useful and sustainable solutions which are easy to implement on the territory of the entire country. This is the core concept upon which the corporate responsibility of the company is based and which is being implemented world wide. Members of the Foundation’s Managing Board were chosen upon the criteria of their expertise in different fields and this enabled for the activities of the Foundation to be guided not only by the company’s business plans, but also to adequately respond to the necessities of the Serbian society, its growth and development. Additionally, members of the top and middle management are directly involved in the projects of the Foundation and follow their course. Employees are also invited to participate and to set an example by their involvement, volunteer work and individual efforts.”
Majority of the activities and projects which the Foundation conducts are directed towards the young population, their education and professional expertise, socially jeopardized categories, as well as the development of cultural production and art.
Telenor`s Foundation accomplishes set objectives through various forms of initiatives:
– Cooperation with non – governmental sector, public and private institutions in different types of projects.
– Programs of exchange of experts in the field of science and art, as well as providing opportunities for professional internships and scholarships.
– Exchange of information.
– Establishing the practice of round tables, seminars, conferences and other events which are in any way linked to the activities of Telenor.
– Organizing of tenders through which different types of trainings and research are offered.
Particular emphasis is put on the young generation and talented people and socially jeopardized categories.
Foundation launches special programs, seminars lectures, classes and offers scholarships to those who are perceived as young experts in the fields which are relevant for Telenor`s activities.
In 2007, Telenor introduced the award “Professor Ilija Stojanović” in memory of professor Ilija Stojanovic, who was closely connected to the company and participated in its activities from the very beginning of its operations in Serbia. Every year the award of 1500 euros is given to young students, scientists and researchers for their achievements in the field of telecommunications, in three categories:
– Best paper / project in the field of telecommunications chosen from the Conference for electronics, telecommunications, informatics, automatics and nuclear technique, held on a yearly basis.
– Best paper / project chosen from the Telflor (yearly conference), held on a yearly basis.
– Best student of the Graduate School of Electro-technique (course telecommunications).
The Foundation was among the first initiators for the cleaning of neglected areas of Belgrade. Participants of the campaign “Recycling of landscapes: Be creative and revive the city” were pupils of Belgrade high – schools and various artists and the entire project was conducted on ten city locations: open cinemas in Vracar and Zvezdara municipality, summer stage and Pioneer city in Kosutnjak, yard filed of abandoned factory, Zvezdani gaj and other locations. The campaign was lasted throughout 2009 and in this period the locations have been cleaned, painted and decorated with art works. There had been approximately 1000 participants in the campaign and they had the opportunity to get acquainted with the creative art process. Development of the environment awareness was one of the key priorities of the project, which was realized in cooperation with the Belgrade City Assembly and Secretariat for sport and youth. The project became the part of the leading environmental project in Serbia “Let`s wake Serbia up”, under the patronage of the Ministry for the Environment Protection. ,
In cooperation with the National Television of Serbia, Telenor joined the campaign “Skola je Skul (School is Cool)”, which promotes school spirit, representing the most active schools that use creative methods of teaching and award children which positioned themselves as good pupils and good school mates. The best children received computer modems and six months of subscription for the Telenor`s wireless internet. The campaign was launched in February 2009, as a pilot project broadcast on schools that tend to promote true values and enable good communication between students and teachers, good quality education and extracurricular activities. Six months upon the beginning of the campaign, it grew into a regular show of the National Television, by the name "Skul TV".
EYOUWINS is another project dedicated to the young population of Serbia and is organized in cooperation of Graduate School of Technical Sciences, non – governmental organization by the name Creative – educational center and under the patronage of the Telenor Foundation. The festival gathered more than ninety participants from twenty countries, including Iran, United States and Mexico. The main focus of the festival was on the issues concerning the ways of how to use knowledge and creativity in the best possible way, how to come up with innovations, as well as the subjects which concern interactive communication and culture innovations. Participants of the festival had the opportunity to learn through various methods, including workshops, lectures, team work, presentations and discussions, while techniques of creative thinking have been promoted, as well as their daily use in everyday life. Furthermore, advantages of Vojvodina, as extremely multicultural surrounding, have been used in order to promote innovations in the field of intercultural dialogue, which provided participants with an opportunity to develop and enhance their abilities which will consequently enable them to be open for new ideas and cultures, to comprehend changes occurring around them and to influence their flow. Telenor supported the event with its financial support, as well as with a lecture of one of its experienced managers.
Telenor Foundation established excellent cooperation with the municipality of Vracar and equipped five of its schools with computers and wireless internet within the project Internet for all, launched by Office for the young – Municipality of Vracar. Among the schools which were a part of the project, was a school for children with special needs, two gymnasiums and two high-schools. By participating in this campaign, the company’s goal was to provide the possibility for the children to easily use new technologies, which will become a necessity for them in the near future. Furthermore, in cooperation with Belgrade Ecology Center and Municipality of Vracar, Telenor` s Foundation supported the project of the ecological education by the name “Children and Recycling”, which represents another activity directed towards education of young generations. Project’s main goal is to develop awareness for the environment among the children from pre – school institutions, elementary schools and high-schools in the territory of the Vracar municipality. Children will be trained through creative ecological workshops, where they will hear interesting stories, questions, and examples from the practice. In this way they will have a chance to get acquainted with the basic principles of recycling and sustainable development.
Construction of the ecological playground in Serbia in cooperation with OSCE Mission is another relevant project in the field of environmental protection. The playground was officially opened in December 2007 and represents the first ecological playground in Serbia, designed to enable the easy access to children which are disabled. The entire playground is made out of material which can be recycled, with flags indicating children’s rights from the UN Charter. This was the first time in Serbia that the solar lightning has been used on a children’s playground. The entire project represents a form of good cooperation between public and private sector.
One of the first activities and most important activities of the Telenor Foundation was the establishing of strategic partnership with Petnica Science Center in 2007, one of the most significant centers for research activities in southeastern Europe. Petnica represents a unique institution, which has a tradition of twenty five years and which has always directed its activities towards bringing young generations closer to the contemporary scientific areas. Also, Telenor became the member of Fund for Development of Petnica scientific education, which was founded in order to provide independent and stabile financing of Petnica center.
Telenor`s support is directed to the following areas:
– Donation of financial means to the yearly program of activities of Petnica.
– Donation of computers and other technical equipment for the purpose of improving work conditions of the centre.
– Including experts of Telenor in the activities of Petnica (lectures, courses, summer camps etc.).
– Sponsoring activities of the yearly international conference “Step in the science” organized by Petnica Science Center in which young scientists present results of their projects in different scientific fields.
As a member of the Development fund and a strategic partner, Telenor supports different activities and projects within the Petnica Science Center. One of the obvious positive effects of this type of activity is the opportunity for children coming from families with low incomes to participate in summer, fall, winter and spring camps organized by the center, as well as the yearly conference. Furthermore, cooperation was expanded to ecology programs, as well. In cooperation with the Ministry for the Environment and Space planning, Telenor supports an educational project in the filed of ecology, by the name “Energy for the future”. The United Nations have proclaimed 2009 as the year of climate changes. Therefore, the project includes introduction of climate issues in regular school activities, it encompasses approximately one hundred and twenty schools and the pupils are provided with an opportunity to learn and expand their knowledge about renewable sources of energy, influence of manufacture on the ecology, energy expenditure, as well as rational consumption of natural resources.
Telenor Foundation is particularly active in the activities concerning the socially jeopardized categories. For the third consecutive year, the company supported the Christmas Bazaar, which actually represents a humanitarian project of the International Women’s Club, whose entire income is forwarded to the socially jeopardized categories in Serbia. International Women’s Club is a non – profit organization, whose members are approximately forty two women from the diplomatic and international circles, which support numerous projects organized in Serbia. This years` event was held in Belgrade and thirty six embassies participated with their stands, where visitors could buy souvenirs, clothing, crafts, accompanied by the possibility of tasting the national cuisine and drinks of each country, as well as entertainment for the children. Telenor donated twenty digital photo – frames for the Bazaar’s lottery event. Just from sales of products alone, 6.5 million dinars have been raised and donated to socially jeopardized people, the elderly, victims of violence and human trafficking, as well as to children with special needs and education of the gipsy children.
“We are also here” is a project launched by the Center for Independent Life of Invalids in the city of Nis. The Center exists since 1996 and gathers people who are disabled in different ways and who are joined with a common purpose: to adapt to everyday activities of contemporary life. The main objective of the project was to enable different categories of the disabled people to work on computers and to use the internet. For this purpose, Telenor Foundation donated free internet access, computers equipped with special equipment for disabled persons, as well as scanners, Dictaphones and programs designed specifically for various types of disabilities. Acquiring new computer skills provide greater independence to its users, as well as the greater ability to make the best use of their potentials and to socialize. As a direct benefit which should come out of it is the improvement of their self – esteem and easier employment opportunities.
Distance learning for children with developing handicap is a project launched in cooperation with the School for elementary and high – school education “Milan Petrovic” in Novi Sad and supported by the Telenor Foundation. The project is realized through the interactive portal by the name “Milance” which is used for this purpose. Additionally, the children are provided with the possibility to acquire knowledge in mathematics, Serbian language, social and natural sciences, through specially designed programs. In the upcoming months, the portal will be additionally strengthened with new scientific fields, knowledge quizzes and virtual classroom where the users will have the opportunity to achieve better communication with their teachers and other users and to adapt the learning process to their own dynamics. The significance of the created portal lays in the fact that it enables the children with special needs to successfully finish their elementary education and to continue to educate themselves, according to their wishes. Also, it promotes new concepts of distance learning and e – learning, with specific instructions for the teachers that work with different categories of pupils.
Upon the invitation of the Association of Serbs «Kosovo and Metohija», and in the organization of the Red Cross, Telenor Foundation financed the visit to Norway for the children living in Kosovo in September 2009. Approximately twenty three children age eight to sixteen were hosted by the families of the members of the association. A very interesting program was prepared by the hosts of the visit, followed by the reception organized in their honor by the Embassy of Serbia. Furthermore, the children did the sightseeing of Oslo and another six cities, museums, palaces and entertainment parks. These activities were followed by the sports – recreational program which included the visit to the pool, bowling alley and shooting field. A special experience was the visit to the football match Serbia – Norway. This trip was the first time these children flew by plane.
Hipotens program is a special program designed by the Association for Therapeutic Riding “Hipotens” from Novi Sad, is supported by the Telenor Foundation and directed towards children which have cerebral paralysis. The program is oriented towards the strengthening of muscles, improvement of balance and reduction of uncontrolled muscle movements. The main objective of the program is to promote therapeutic riding as the form of therapy for persons with special needs, since it was evident that this form of therapy influences positively on children’s health, improves their balance and movement coordination, consequently affecting the self – confidence on treated persons and their interest for the world around them. This is the first time that project of this type is being realized in Serbia. Upon its completion, the study will be created which will be presented to interested experts in the field of defectology, as well as to students and parents.
Let’s live together is the campaign launched by the Association for Help to the Disabled Persons of the municipality Stari Grad and the Telenor Foundation. The campaign is based on the information center, which provides free expert consultations to the persons that are disabled, as well as their families and guardians. The center offers wide range of information necessary for a person to adapt more easily to the contemporary society, differing from legal to culture advices. The calls made to the information center are free and persons who make the call can obtain free legal advices, as well as advices from the fields of social and health protection. Also, members of the association are open to suggestions of the callers and are always updating their database with the problematic of the disabled. The center is open for calls from 10h to 22h every day for direct conversations with the operators, and it works around the clock for leaving the messages on the answering machines. Telenor foundation financed the founding of the center, including the free telephone line, internet and entire technical and logistic equipment. This project is of particular importance, having in mind the fact that the disabled represent 3% of the entire Serbian population, which was often neglected in the past and whose parents did not have adequate institutions to turn to for specific issues.
Another form of activity supported by the Telenor Foundation is focused on the children who have malignant deceases. On the occasion of the World Day of the children who are ill, representatives of the Telenor Foundation visited five clinics in Serbia where the youngest patients are being treated. The main purpose of this action was to lift the spirits of the children and to ease their fight against this illness. The company gave 1000 dinars of free telephone conversation to each of the hundred and twenty six children they visited, and the services “Telenor music without limits”, as well as video games have been installed on their mobile phones. Five clinics were covered by the campaign: Institute for Mother and the Child Health Protection „Dr Vukan Čupić“, University Children’s Clinic, Institute for Oncology and Radiology, Institute for Health Protection of Youth and Children of Vojvodina and Pediatric Clinic of the Clinic center in Nis.
In 2008, a project of particular importance was supported by the Telenor foundation. As the result of joint efforts with the Belgrade University and the Association of the students with the handicap, the first university center in the region for the students with the handicap was opened in Belgrade, in the facilities of the university library. Facilities are adapted to entirely meet the needs of the handicapped students. The main purpose of the center was to offer conditions that will provide handicapped students with the opportunity to have equal chances for good quality education as other people. In this way, they are encouraged to educate themselves and to find their place in the world. Additionally, different types of activities are being conducted within the center which will help the handicapped persons make decisions concerning their university education and job opportunities upon the completion of their studies. Founding of the center of this type and its activities, together with the cooperation with the relevant institutions, evidently represent one of the ways to raise the awareness about the handicapped persons and their activities in Serbia. The center was originally founded by the Belgrade University and the Telenor Foundation supported the project through the financing of complete renovation of facilities and necessary technical equipment.
Another long – term project supported by the Telenor Foundation is the establishing of the Social Club within the Special hospital for rehabilitation and orthopedic prosthetics. The Club is perceived as the place where persons with any form of disability can gather, socialize, learn and make friends with each other, all for the purpose to be productive members of the society. Facilities of the Club have been renovated and completely adapted to meet the needs of this social group. Furthermore, team of experienced personnel is conducting educational and inclusive courses and help the users acquire computer skills, learn their prerogatives defined by the laws of Serbia, as well as offer consultations concerning their professional life and possibilities. Additionally, special attention is dedicated to the empowerment of the users and their integration into everyday life flows. For that purpose, various activities are conducted such as organization of visits to the cinema and theatre, creative workshops, social evenings etc. Since the Special hospital for rehabilitation and orthopedic prosthetics is the only institution in Serbia which treats the recovery of the disabled persons, the Social Club has a special role in their recovery. Through its support to the Social Club, Telenor enabled more complete recovery of the patients, which could be confirmed by the interest for the Club, shown by the patients.
When it comes to the issue of the environmental protection, Telenor`s main objective is to be the leading ICT (information and communication technologies) company in this field.
“Having in mind that Telenor operates in the field of ICT, its contribution to the climate changes is not great, but cannot be discarded. The company influences the environment through the use of energy, emissions of carbon – dioxide and waste supplies. It should also be taken into account that mobile telecommunications, in general, have a positive contribution to the environment through the use of the most contemporary technologies created for the purpose of the information exchange in geographically distant locations.”
In order to meet the fast growing trend of the reduction of the CO2 emissions which is evident worldwide, the company established a Program of climate changes, which deals with this issue and envisages activities to help reduce the quantities of this gas, as well as to develop solutions that will help the company’s customers to do the same.. The program is focused on five key areas:
1. Efficient use of energy and carbon – dioxide reduction
2. Recycling and waste management
3. Employee contribution to this area
4. Development of environmentally friendly business processes
5. Renewable sources of energy
Within the area of efficient use of energy and CO2 reduction, initiative by the name “Green house” has been launched, with the main purpose to enable rational consumption of electric and heat energy, in order to minimize any damaging impacts to the natural surroundings that Telenor might produce. The main idea of the initiative is to introduce the so called “green way of thinking” in the company, through various recommendations and solutions, that is to say, methods of reasonable use of energy and other resources in all company` s facilities, all phases of their construction – from the design development to adaptation and reconstruction of objects. The initiative focuses on three main areas: architecture, electronic installations and equipment, and machinery (HVAC systems). In this way Telenor is persistent in finding solutions through various measures like proper way of designing things, use of contemporary materials with low ratios of heath conductivity, implementation of equipment with high energy potential (class A), regular maintenance of spaces and equipment, highest level of equipment and installations and its adjustment to the demands of the users. These measures have proven to be efficient in matter of several months upon their application: the conducted research has shown that 30% of the electric energy could be saved through the implementation of economic use of lights, sensors of movement, heating and cooling instruments etc. It is necessary to emphasize that significant part of this initiative is the modification of behavior and habits of the company’s personnel. In this sense, the top management of the company has issued written recommendations to employees concerning rational temperature adjustment, turning the lights off, closing of doors, and other similar measures that contribute to the reduction of energy consumption.
One of Telenor`s priorities in the reduction of CO2 is setting limitations to the influence which IT systems and networks have in this field. As far as the GSM network is concerned, all available contemporary techniques have been used in order to upgrade its efficiency and reduce energy consumption. The company now analyses the previous technical solutions in order to improve the overall energy efficiency, as well as to meet the technical standards. From the very beginning of its construction, the 3G network has been built to be energy efficient. Furthermore, the equipment of this network was chosen according to the criteria of energy efficiency and the purchased machinery is among the ones with the lowest energy consumption on the market. In 2007 and 2008 a number of projects have been successfully completed referring to the IT infrastructure consolidation. By doing so, the company succeeded in reducing the number of servers and warehouses, as well as old machinery with high energy consumption, which had been replaced with contemporary energy efficient technologies. Disposing of the old machinery represents another ecology challenge. If not disposed of properly, electronic components of IT machines could cause harm to the living environment. In order to prevent this potential treat, Telenor launched campaign in which old desktops, laptops and server equipment are forwarded to recycling.
Transport represents another field where Telenor takes active participation in the segment of CO2 reduction. All of the company’s vehicles are included in the program called “Green Miles”, which has for its main objective to lower the emission of dangerous gases, in the first place CO2 generated by cars and other vehicles. The program encompasses concrete measures and activities such as the use of vehicles with the most modern commercially available engines that guarantee the lowest possible level of emission of carbon – dioxide and other harmful gases, hiring of highly reputable servicing companies for Telenor`s vehicles, optimizing of the number of kilometers together with the reduction of employees’ air flights. Whenever possible, business travels are replaced by high tech methods of communication like video conferences. Informing employees about the damaging influences of vehicles is also an important part of the program. Therefore, Telenor has educational activities about the steps that could be taken by individuals in order to reduce negative influences to minimum. This is followed by the company’s strict policy of the corporate car use, as well as business travels. Another innovative measure introduced by the company is the possibility for employees to obtain a bicycle for those who live in the proximity of the company and want to use this ecologically friendly mean of transport.
In the segment of recycling and waste management, an important activity organized by Telenor is recycling of dozens of thousands of mobile telephones. In this way the company tends to point out to the significance of the living environment and takes active participation in solving of the electronic waste problem. On average, users of mobile phones purchase new telephone every two years. Consequently, old mobile phones are finished off as regular waste. If not disposed properly, mobile phones can cause significant pollution to the living environment, by the dangerous releases in the soil, air and water, particularly batteries, which represent approximately 15 to 30% of the gadget. However, 90% of all materials out of which mobile phones consist off can be recycled. Therefore, Telenor launched the recycling campaign in all its stores, starting from May 2007. In order to stimulate the customers who wish to purchase new mobile telephones, the company offers attractive packages for those who decide to recycle their old machines, as an award for the high level of awareness for the environment. Some of the offered perks are:
– 60 minutes of free conversation in the Telenor network
– 30 minutes of free conversation and 30 SMS messages within the national traffic
– 100 free SMS messages within the national traffic
The campaign resulted in approximately 75000 mobile telephones or eight tons of material being recycled, as well as the raising of customers awareness about the damaging influence of batteries and significance of recycling.
Another initiative by the name Green offices was launched by Telenor and for its main goal has the reduction of the consumption of materials which could be used as secondary material, such as plastic and paper, which represent potential polluters of the environment. Therefore, in all buildings of Telenor in Serbia, recycling of these materials is introduced in order to enable for all the waste created by the company, to be properly disposed and then recycled. The company also signed cooperation agreement with the enterprises authorized for the recycling process and this guarantees that the waste is recycled properly.
Telenor also introduced direct steps to reduce consumption of paper in all its facilities. Two sided printing is mandatory, which as a result has 10% reduction of paper on a yearly basis. The paper for printing is at the same time partially recycled paper. Reduction of plastic consumption is contributed by minimizing the use of plastic glasses and they are replaced with ceramic cups.
In the field of its environment contribution, engagement of the employees is a very important issue. Telenor focuses its efforts on educating its employees about the problem of climate changes through different types of informative and educational workshops, weekly campaigns which for their main purpose have the introduction of climate – friendly behavior, foresting of public areas, public debates on the issue of environment protection etc.
Furthermore, Telenor supported the global world campaign by the name “An hour for our planet 2009”, launched by the independent foundation WWF, in which all light commercials on the headquarters building have been shut down for an hour on March 28th at precisely 20.30h, as well as other unnecessary lightning. The campaign was originally launched in Sydney in 2007 by its citizens who switched the lights off in their apartments for one hour. Since then, it has become one of the world’s leading initiatives in the fight against climate changes, leading to over 100 millions participants in 35 countries worldwide. Even the most famous monumental facilities like the Coloseum in Rome, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, remained in the dark during the campaign, as a warning sign, with a symbolic solution.
So far, Telenor gave its support to numerous organizations which tend to turn the public eye to the issue of climate changes, among which is the media campaign organized in cooperation with the Ecotopia and media house. The company also participated in the Sustainability Day project, launched by AIESEC students` organization. One of the direct measures of the company was to distribute saving bulbs to its employees which spend five times less electric energy in comparison to normal light bulbs. On 21st of August 2009, in cooperation with the Agency for energy efficiency, Telenor organized the round table on the subject “Improvement of energy efficiency”.
Telenor Foundation is persistent in supporting the development of culture and art production and the market of arts, as well as to encourage artists stay in Serbia and continue working in their own country. Therefore, the company organizes different activities like competitions, contests, exhibitions and other cultural events, which support development of culture life in Serbia and its decentralization throughout the country.
Numerous projects and initiatives have been launched, among which particular significance have the following:
During the summer of 2009, on the occasion of the Belgrade Summer Festival (BELEF), Telenor Foundation donated five murals which were painted on the front walls of the central city municipalities by acknowledged Serbian and foreign artists. Some of the world’s most prestigious street painters participated (Blu, Valerio Beruti and Marijus Varas) in the project and painted the walls of the Stari Grad, Vracar and Savski venac – municipalities of Belgrade. The painting of murals in Belgrade under the name "Super Wall" (SuperWall) represents the sequel of the campaign, "Run the City", in which Telenor plans to donate murals to nineteen cities in Serbia and in this way offer its contribution to the adopted policy of the Ministry for Public Administration and Local Authority and help these locations achieve the status of the city. Both of these projects have been organized in cooperation with the Platform for Contemporary Art “Kiosk”, with the main purpose to bring back murals as a form of the artistic media. Furthermore, cooperation between the Foundation and BELEF continued with the project by the name “Art2siton”, when the company donated fifty concrete benches, designed by the Belgrade artists and set along the river banks of Sava and Danube and in city parks.
Telenor`s collection of contemporary Serbian art was exhibited in Nis in June 2009, following the exhibitions which had previously been shown in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Vrsac and Cacak. The collection was actually formed with the purpose to initiate culture creativity, as well as to support artists in Serbia. The first exhibition was held in Belgrade in 2008 and it was evident that working surrounding can be transformed into exhibition space by implementing the artistic works in its facilities. Collection of artistic work includes paintings, photographs, sculptures and space installations. The exhibition which was originally exposed in the Telenor headquarters building in New Belgrade, was moved to different locations throughout Serbia: the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Vrsac Cultural Center, Gallery "Nadezda Petrovic in Cacak, and then in the gallery of "Serbia" in Nis. Visitors, who are users of the Telenor network, have the opportunity to receive information about the exhibition, artists and art-works via Bluetooth service.
Project of free connecting of libraries in Serbia to the newspaper archives was launched by the Media documentation Ebart in 2005 in cooperation with the National Library of Serbia (NBS) and with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Serbia. At the time, that type of public services was given to twenty four native libraries in twenty four municipalities and cities in Serbia. In the upcoming years, the program was continued with the financial support of the Telenor Foundation, and twenty libraries, which the National Library of Serbia recommended, have been selected for the program. Consequently, the latest library included in the program is located in Subotica, and this will provide its citizens with the possibility to get free access to the electronic newspaper database, which contains information from fifteen daily newspapers and weeklies. Asides from Subotica, nineteen other cities have been included in the program, with the tendency to expand this network and to make this service available to as many people possible.
Telenor Foundation launched the competition by the name Our Wall for young and talented artists, with the main purpose to choose the best wallpapers for the decoration of the company’s facilities. Financial prizes were given for three categories: decoration of stairway wall, decoration for hall walls and the creativity award. The main objective of the competition is to contribute to the affirmation of young artists and development of cultural production. The competition is held every year.
From its arrival to the Serbian market, Telenor achieved significant rewards in different fields. The most significant ones are:
– The Green IT Globus
– Virtus Award
– Art & Business Award
The Green IT Globus is the award given to the companies for their contribution to the field of environmental protection. Telenor received this award in 2009 for its contribution in the campaign for mobile telephone recycling conducted in 2007, when approximately 75000 mobile telephones have been collected and recycled, which consequently represents eight tons of potential electronic waste.
“The Virtus award delivered by the non – governmental organization Balkan Fund for local initiatives, which is actually the largest local foundation for civil initiatives and groups in Serbia, is given on a yearly basis for corporate philanthropy. Telenor won the award for its activities directed to long – term and non – profit projects which have a high impact on specific social groups of Serbia. Establishing of the Telenor Foundation was one of the key reasons why the company received the award. Through its numerous activities, the Foundation supported more than fifty projects, among which the most important were: strategic partnership with the Petnica research Center, support to the Center for the handicapped children at the Belgrade University, support offered to the equipment of the Shelter of the Home for children and youth in Belgrade, establishing of the award “Professor Ilija Stojanovic” and many others.”
According to the public opinion survey conducted by the Medium Gallup marketing agency, Telenor finds itself at the third position according to the criteria of corporate responsibility. The interviewed persons decided among six sub-categories: product quality, employee care, job attractiveness, marketing, and general appearance and corporate responsibility. Particularly important point which should be highlighted is the fact that Telenor is the only privately owned company on the list of ranked companies.
Telenor participated in another project with the focus on the elder population. A project “Teleasistance for the citizens of Belgrade” is aimed to help the elderly and improve their position in the society. It was launched in April 2008, under the patronage of Belgrade Town Assembly and Asistel. In a matter of several months, apart from Telenor which was the first company to join the campaign, many others joined. The project resulted in the following: more than two hundred fifty most jeopardized elderly citizens according to the data from the Gerontology center of Belgrade have been taken care of. Once they entered the program, they felt safer and were able to live more independently. Teleasistance is the trend which exists worldwide for the last fifteen years and is present in Serbia with the start of this project. Assistance is directed mainly to the elderly, as well as to the people who have difficulties moving and the disabled. Participants of the program can reach any time the trained personnel by just pressing a button which they wear around their neck or wrist. Furthermore, the database also contains information about the telephone numbers of their relatives, friends and neighbors, so that they can reach them if necessary. For its contribution in the project, Telenor received the special acknowledgment from the Asistel Company.
As a result of fruitful cooperation between Telenor and Association of citizens Kiosk on a joint project by the name “Run the City”, which was declared as the best partnership of culture and business sectors, Telenor was rewarded with the Art & Business Award in March 2008. Ministry of Culture of Serbia established this type of award with the main purpose to introduce and develop new methods of financing in the culture sector, which involve public and private sector, as well as numerous funds and organizations. Furthermore, the final objective of the initiative launched by the ministry is to create a positive ambience for investments in culture, while at the same time keeping the satisfactory level of quality and professionalism.
As far as the technology is concerned, it is very important to emphasize the improvements done on the existing mobile network. Telenor`s network in Serbia is based on the GSM standard, which is the international standard for digital mobile communications. It is adapted to the voice transmission and is implemented in a number of countries. Furthermore, the GSM standard is constantly being upgraded with new technologies for data transmission, and this concept is also being implemented in Serbia. Telenor`s network in Serbia operates on the frequency of 900 megahertz and corresponds to the best mobile telephony world standards. The network covers approximately 95% of the Serbian population and 90% of the territory of Serbia. Telenor introduced significant innovations to the network, such as:
– GPRS is another package of services; it enables faster transmission of data via the GSM network and is considered as the 2.5 generation of the mobile telephony. This package provides faster connection to the WAP or Internet services.
– EDGE service was introduced in 2004 and represents the enhanced GSM network and provides the service of higher throughput volume, fast data transmission, as well as new applications.
– UMTS is one of the third generation technologies in the mobile field which was introduced to the Serbian market in March of 2007. In comparison to the GSM network, it offers the possibility of video calls. The speed at which the data transfer is done is 384 kb when downloading, and 64 kb/s when uploading.
– HSDPA represents the communications protocol in the UMTS networks and offers the possibility of greater data transmission speed capacity, with a reduced period of delay. The applied solution to the Serbian market supports the speed of 3.6 megabytes per second for the downlink and 384 kilobytes per second for the uplink.
When it comes to infrastructure, Telenor headquarters is located in the exclusive part of New Belgrade (Airport City) and covers the area 4000 square meters. Particular innovations in the area of infrastructure are Expo and Intro centers.
The Expo center could be represented as a segment of the recognizable Telenor brand. Telenor Expo Center, which was created according to the Norwegian model, is currently the only center designed and equipped in such a manner within the Telenor Group, asides from the one in Oslo. The center is located in the ground floor of the Telenor headquarters building and covers the area of more than 1000 square meters. It actually represents an exclusive working surrounding, which could equally be used by employees, as well as external public. Furthermore, it consists of two meeting halls, lounge, lobby, press center and coffee bar.
“All of the facilities of the Expo Center are technically equipped to meet the highest standards of the business world and offer the possibility of organizing different types of events: meetings within the company, press conferences, and presentations of different projects, humanitarian and charity events, concerts and live performances, informal gatherings, cocktails and receptions. Construction of this space has been followed by an interdisciplinary approach of projecting. Also, appropriate materials have been chosen in order to contribute to the functionality of the space and provide high quality video projections. The area has possibilities for the planned and programmed light control and different types of scenery set up. Interior capacities, audio, video, and light systems have been parallel designed, and a system of central control has been applied for the purpose of audio and video presentations, through the usage of LCD screens, located on three chosen positions, with the wireless internet possibility.“
Intro centre covers the area of approximately 500 square meters and is mainly dedicated for the use of the employees of the company. Furthermore, Intro center is also used for the purpose of organizing different types of events like workshops, seminars, expositions, live performance and concerts, due to its transformation potential and technical equipment. It consists of two training halls, one creative room and a stage. Training rooms are located in the ground floor of the building and can take up to twelve people. Creative room is used for panel discussions, shootings and castings and educational workshops due to its ambience, which is inspiring and creative. It is located on the second floor of the Intro Center. Stage is used for various types of exhibitions, presentations, concerts and art performances. It has one hundred and twenty sitting places and three hundred places available for standing.
Both Intro and Expo center have a particular innovation: they are equipped with the so called “live spaces” which allow the visitor to touch the screens and lively contents are displayed. This provides the opportunity for the companies who decide to use this space, to advertise its logo, product or a service.
The scientific research of experiences of the Telenor Group in Serbia was conducted in order to answer the research question of this doctoral thesis, which is the following: “Do multinational companies have a positive contribution to Serbia’s socio-economic development and overall economic growth?”
The key questions, which were attempted to be answered, as set in the literature review, are the following ones:
1. What types of MNEs are currently operating in Serbia?
2. Do MNEs contribute to the employment increase of the local staff in Serbia?
3. Do MNEs improve managerial and entrepreneurial techniques and strategy of managers in Serbia?
4. In which way are MNEs introducing new business logics and pragmatism in the Serbian environment?
5. Which variables are influencing the success of MNEs operating in Serbia?
Question 1 has been answered in the chapter “Serbian environment for multinational investment” where the types of business activities of multinational companies were tackled. Also, this subject was analyzed in more details in the case study conducted on the Telenor in Serbia. The completed analysis points out to another specific type of multinational enterprise and its activities in the Serbian market. Namely, the analyzed company belongs to the sector of telecommunications and in this way represents another type of multinational operations in Serbia. As it was previously explained, Telenor in Serbia was formed by the privatization of the Mobi 63 – formerly state owned enterprise, which represents the largest privatization in 2006 in the region of the southeastern Europe. This also points out to another type of operations handled by multinational companies – acquisition.
Question 2 deals with the contribution of multinational companies to the employment increase of the local staff in Serbia. This case study showed the following: at the time of the take over of the company, there had been 936 employees working for Mobi 63. In three years of the company’s business operations in Serbia, the number of employees increased to 1207. Upon the take over of the company business activities expanded and the number of employees gradually grew. The new management decided not to let any of the employees go. Consequently, it could be concluded that operations of Telenor contributed positively to the employment increase of the local staff in Serbia.
Questions 3 and 4 referring to the improvement of managerial and entrepreneurial techniques, strategy of managers and the modes through which this has been achieved, are clearly elaborated in the sub-sections of this chapter which tackle several aspects: relationship towards clients, relationship towards employees, corporate responsibility of the company, infrastructure and technology development and environmental protection activities.
In order to determine the above stated issues, interviews with the responsible personnel of the company, members of the top and middle management, the revision of original documentation and archival records, showed that departments with most innovations and new business methods are marketing department and human resource department. Also, particularly innovative activities are conducted in the domain of corporate responsibility – within the operations of the Telenor Foundation, as well as environmental protection activities.
Particular segment of the activities of Telenor, directed towards the local community and individuals living in it, is encompassed in the Telenor Foundation, formed exclusively for this purpose. Through its cooperation with the local authorities, non – governmental sector and representative of the media, Telenor Foundation realized significant projects. The scientific research process of this DBA dissertation determined that activities of the Foundation are mainly directed towards the children and young population, socially jeopardized categories and cultural preservation. Telenor Foundation participated in the following projects dedicated to the young population (described on pp 17 – 32):
– Establishing of the “Ilija Stojanovic” award given to young students, scientists and researchers for their achievements in the field of telecommunications.
– Campaign “Recycling of landscapes: Be creative and revive the city”, conducted on ten city locations, with approximately 1000 participants among which were pupils of Belgrade high – schools and various artists.
– Project “Skola je Skul (School is Cool)”, which promotes school spirit, representing the most active schools that use creative methods of teaching.
– International festival EYOUWINS, with the main focus on the issues of knowledge, creativity and interculturality.
– Established cooperation with the Municipality of Vracar, and support to the campaigns Internet for All and Children and Recycling.
– Construction of the first ecological playground in Serbia.
– Establishing of strategic partnership with Petnica Science Center, as one of the most significant centers for research activities in southeastern Europe.
As far as the activities of the Telenor Foundation, directed to the socially jeopardized categories are concerned, the research showed that the company supported the following projects:
– Humanitarian annual project “Christmas Bazaar”, whose entire income is forwarded to the socially jeopardized categories in Serbia.
– Project “We are also here”, with the main objective to enable different categories of the disabled people to work on computers and to use the internet.
– Distance learning for children with developing handicap in order to provide the children with the possibility to acquire different types of knowledge.
– Financing of the visit to Norway for the children living in Kosovo.
– Support of the Hipotens program, a special program designed for the children who have cerebral paralysis.
– Let’s live together campaign based on the information center, which provides free expert consultations to the persons that are disabled, as well as their families and guardians.
– Activities focused on the children who have malignant deceases.
– Establishing of the first university center in the region for the students with the handicap with facilities that are adapted to entirely meet the needs of the handicapped students.
– Establishing of the Social Club within the Special hospital for rehabilitation and orthopedic prosthetics. The Club is perceived as the place where persons with any form of disability can gather, socialize, learn and make friends with each other, all for the purpose to be productive members of the society.
Also, Telenor Foundation focuses one part of its activities to the culture preservation and provides support to the cultural identity of Serbia through projects such as:
– Campaign Super Wall and the donation of murals to nineteen Serbian cities as the contribution to the adopted policy of the Ministry for Public Administration and Local Authority and as form of artistic media.
– Telenor`s collection of contemporary Serbian art, formed with the purpose to initiate culture creativity, as well as to support artists in Serbia.
– Project of free connecting of libraries in Serbia to the newspaper archives was with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Serbia.
– The competition by the name Our Wall for young and talented artists, with the main purpose to choose the best wallpapers for the decoration of the company’s facilities.
Moreover, the conducted scientific research has shown that the environmental protection contribution of the Telenor in Serbia is evident. The company is strongly oriented towards environmental protection, as one of the key goals of its basic platform. The facts that support this claim could be found in the specially designed programs of the company in the domain of environmental protection (described on pp 25 – 30). Emphasis is put on the following:
– Reduction of the CO2 emissions, realized thorough the programs Green house, Green Miles, efficient use of mobile network, new technologies and equipment (described on pp)
– Recycling and waste management, achieved through the campaigns of mobile telephone and paper recycling, as well as the reduction of the consumption of materials which could be used as secondary material, such as plastic.
– Employee contribution to the environmental protection.
– Development of environmentally friendly business processes.
– Renewable sources of energy
Relationship towards employees is a very important activity of the HR department operating within the company. Moreover, this department has been very active in the sense of innovations, in order to keep track with the fast employee growth and to enable quick integration of new employees into the system. Generally speaking, the conclusion could be drawn that the HR department has two principal segments of actions where the majority of innovations have been introduced: staff education and employee satisfaction care.
For the segment of the staff education, the most important trainings are:
– Trainings for future leaders
– Welcome trainings
– Codes of conduct
– Human resource management
– Communication skills trainings
In the segment of the employee satisfaction care, the HR department conducts the employee satisfaction survey on a yearly basis in order to get a feed back from the employees about the level of their satisfaction, as well as the issues that could be improved and changed within the company. This action is of particular importance in order to include the opinion of the staff in the process of future strategy defining and decision – making, so that everyone can feel that they are a part of it.
When it comes to the relationship with clients, the top management of the company tends to combine its international experience and the local potential of the country where it operates. Some of the most innovative products and services offered to the Serbian users, whish were not available in Serbia before, are:
– New prepaid telephone numbers and new channel of sale Telenor Express.
– Mobile e – mail service.
– The first internet parks in Serbia.
– Cheaper roaming prices for Telenor users in Hungary and Montenegro
The realized research the infrastructure and technology development, showed in the following results:
– At the time of the take over of the company, telecommunications network has been significantly improved and upgraded, resulting in better quality of network and services for the Telenor`s subscribers. Approximately, 53 million euros have been invested in these types of innovations. Innovations on the mobile network have been described in detail on pp 34 – 36.
– Facilities of the Telenor headquarters are equipped with the highest technologies. Particular innovation in the segment of infrastructure are Expo and Intro center located in the headquarter building, and represent an exclusive working surrounding, equally used by employees, as well as external public.
Question 5 focuses on the variables which influence the success of business operations of Telenor in Serbia lead to the following conclusion: very positive factors have been identified by the company, which influence its success. However, potential obstacles have been identified by the company’s top management, which are making certain types of activities difficult to conduct.
According to the interviews with the representatives of top and middle management, identified positive factors are:
– Good geo-strategic position – key regional position of Serbia and privileged access to the markets of East and West, which is particularly important for the Telenor, taking into consideration the fact that one of its key business regions is the region of East and Central Europe, to which Serbia belongs.
– Serbian market is the largest market of all former Yugoslavian republics and the second largest country in Southeastern Europe, which makes it significant for the Group to position itself in Serbia and develop its business activities.
– Development potential of Serbia is significant after 2000, when the beginning of economic reforms began and is still in progress.
– Serbia has a qualified workforce with a capacity to quickly adapt to changes within a company.
– Investment climate in Serbia keeps on improving. In that sense, Serbia is considered to be friendly and a better environment for foreign investors, in comparison to the period before 2000. For this purpose, the set of legislation acts has been adopted by the Government of Serbia, which regulate different forms of foreign trade activities. These laws were prepared in accordance with the EU legislation acts and have been declared by the Government after 2002. The key legislation of the foreign direct investment regime is the Foreign Investments Act, which was positively assessed in comparison to similar laws in other countries. It regulates the investment procedure into enterprises while investments into insurance companies, banks, other financial organizations, lottery games, and free zones are done in accordance with the laws that refer to each of these fields. Furthermore, the Foreign-trade Act also represents a relevant law which refers to enterprises with foreign direct investment. The law guides foreign-trade businesses by the rules of the World Trade Organization and in accordance with European Union acts. It also regulates foreign direct investments from Serbia to other countries, as well as construction works abroad. Other adopted legislation acts relevant for foreign investors are the Concession Act, the Arbitrage Act, the Act on Banks and the Financial Leasing Act.
The following potential obstacles have been identified:
1. Transition process in which Serbia is currently involved. Interviewed managers see a potential problem in the following: loans extended to retail and corporate sectors are indexed in foreign currency, and any change in the course of reserve currency, causes the growth of credit risk and reduces the ability of borrowers to return loans. It is evident that the fluctuation of the Serbian currency in comparison to euro has been significant throughout 2009, which has a potentially negative influence on business operations of all legal entities.
2. The still existing relative isolation of Serbia from the regular flows of world trade.
3. The consequences of the World Financial crises, which are becoming more severe and are affecting all participants in the financial sector.
To conclude, the present scientific research on Telenor in Serbia was conducted by using open – ended interviews, revision of the original documentation, archival records and direct observation of the author, which is in compliance with the proposed methodology of the case study suggested by Yin (1994). Additionally, the author interviewed the representatives of the Serbian Government, Serbian Chamber of Commerce and local community representatives in order to support the claims of interviewed managers from the Company.
Therefore, the analysis of activities of the company, points out the following, positive effects which could be fragmented on the company level itself, as well as the local and the country level of Serbia:
1. Contribution of the Telenor the segment of telecommunications in Serbia its internationalization is significant. Telenor is the second largest mobile operator in Serbia (after Telekom) and one of Serbia’s three mobile operators. Contributions are particularly seen through the innovations on the mobile networks and introduction of wide range of new services to users in Serbia, which the company introduced from the beginning of its operations in the country.
2. Contribution of the Telenor is obvious concerning the employment increase of the local staff in Serbia. The Company has established approximately 300 new working places in the period of three years of its activities in Serbia.
3. Establishment of good and partner relations on the local, as well as republic level of authorities. The company takes active participation in significant infrastructure and the local community investment projects.
4. Corporate responsibility should also be highlighted, having in mind the fact that for this purpose, Telenor founded its own Foundation which deals with the issues in question. The Telenor Foundation actively participates in various projects which are of significance to the local community and individuals of Serbia.
5. Contribution to the field of environmental protection is evident.
6. Cultural preservation is also nurtured by Telenor, particularly through the activities of the Telenor Foundation. Activities conducted in this direction are focused on the support of the Serbian cultural identity and its artists.
Taking into consideration all of the above stated, it is possible to conclude that the case study conducted on the Telenor in Serbia, showed that the company had positive influence on Serbia’s socio-economic development and economic growth. Also, its contribution to the local community, social responsibility and employee care, cultural preservation, innovations in the field of mobile network, infrastructure and technology, as well as environmental protection, which have been described earlier, are noticeable.
Concerning the limitations, some of them were pointed in this case study. Namely, they are:
– The conclusions reached in this study can only be useful to the specific industry to which the company belongs. Each industry has its own specificities, depending on the area, and the same goes for multinational companies. Therefore, conclusions, which were reached during the research on Telenor in Serbia, are relevant for the sector of telecommunication in Serbia. Additionally, these conclusions cannot be generalized and may be invalid for the activities of Telenor in countries other than Serbia, since these countries represent different working environments.
– Once again, the problem of interviewing multinational managers is obvious. The author sent letters to approximately twenty-five companies, out of which only four companies accepted the interviews on proposed subjects. Therefore, the conclusions reached in this case study cannot be treated as general conclusions on multinational companies` operations, but only as company specific conclusions. As it was shown during the research, Telenor established its own legal entity in Serbia, which is focused on the market of telecommunications. Other multinational companies which have not been included in this research and which operate in different fields of activities may lead to different conclusions. For example, multinational companies, which are involved in manufacture, may have obvious contribution the environment (either positive or negative) issues, which is not the case with Telenor in Serbia who participates in the environmental policy issues indirectly.
– The number of managers interviewed by the author was limited. During the research on the Telenor in Serbia, the author managed to schedule appointments with 8 managers (one representative of the top management and seven representatives of the middle management and four executives). The official position of the company was to limit the number of interviews, in order not disturb the daily business activities of the company. Furthermore, some information requested by the author regarding exact numbers referring to company’s business activities were considered confidential by the interviewed managers and the author could only review them in the facilities of the company.
 Currency of Norway
 Mobile network of Sweden.
 Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
 Swedish mobile operator.
 Mobile operator in Bangladesh.
 Indian mobile operator
 Mobile operator in Hungary.
 Mobile operator in Montenegro.
 Municipality of Belgrade
 Municipality of Belgrade
 Vojvodina is an autonomous unit of Serbia.
Municipality in Belgrade.
 Global System for Mobile Communications
 General Packet Radio Services
 Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
 High-Speed Downlink Packet Access
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