Nassos Zarkalis: Properly utilizing the opportunities created by the crisis
The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented challenge, redefining the priorities, plans and strategic goals of businesses and states alike.
For the state, as well as WIND, the only priority was the protection of public health and the preservation of human life. Today, after the initial positive results in the management of the pandemic, the new challenge for society, businesses, citizens, employees and consumers is the smooth and successful transition into the next day.
Perhaps for the first time, the health crisis in our country has restored in people’s minds the important role that telecommunications play in our economy and our lives. Never before has it been made so obvious that telecommunication networks are the foundation for the functioning of many sectors of the economy, but also a key element of social life. It is now clear that the new reality requires constant and uninterrupted connectivity. It requires networks – reliable, bigger, faster and safer.
The investments carried out by every telecommunication provider yielded the best results, as the Greek networks operated perfectly, despite the unprecedented increase in demand for internet and telephony.
At WIND we invest about 100 million euros annually in new generation networks and new technologies, and we will continue to do so after the coronavirus. Our company has the necessary funds and generates operating profits capable of allowing us to continue our investment plan unabated.
At the same time, we see that the country is making digital leaps forward as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The readiness of companies, which withstood the unprecedented demand for services at a time when networks in other, more developed countries have failed, and the clear priorities of the state have contributed to the digital progress made recently and have laid the groundwork for Greece’s further digital transformation.
Of course, a necessary condition for the acceleration of the country’s digital transformation is the support and facilitation of investments.
The day after Covid-19
At WIND, we have already turned our attention to the next day. We remain fully committed to implementing our development strategy, continuing to invest, so that our clients enjoy quality communication services and actively participate in the major telecommunications infrastructure projects promoted by the state.
Among them is Syzefxis II, whose main objective is to provide upgraded telecommunication services to all government agencies, and Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFBB), which concerns 2.4 million citizens and businesses, creating more than 810,000 connections at speeds of at least 100 Mbps.
At the same time, we have already begun to lay the foundations for the development of the 5G network. The relevant tender procedure for the acquisition of the necessary spectrum is expected to take place at the end of the year. It is extremely important that the state approaches the 5G spectrum auction in an innovative way, so that both the price and the terms of payment are not based on revenue maximization, but primarily on the development perspective of the new networks and the acceleration of investments.
The new reality that has already emerged is more complex than ever. However, the Greek economy has the potential to overcome the effects of the pandemic soon, but only if we take advantage of the opportunities that every crisis can produce.
THE COMPANY AT A GLANCE
Turnover: € 531.788 Million