Q1. Could you tell us how the evolution
of telecommunication sector went after the
adoption of the new law and the establishment
of the new regulatory body?
A1. We have already had a regulatory
body since 2001, for more than three years,
but let me say that we are very satisfied,
even though we are approaching the end of
our monopoly. January 1st 2004 will be the
first day of the liberalized market in Montenegro.
Of course, we are not expecting for an immediate
competition, but we are ready for it. I
believe this because for the last 2 years
we have strongly improved our infrastructure,
and this improvement is growing constantly.
However, we are not only focused on infrastructure.
First, we wanted to prepare ourselves for
the new competition, and second, to be a
more customer-oriented company, and in this
regard we made three separate projects during
the last two years. The first one was the
implementation of the new management information
system, SAP. By the end of this year the
implementation of the financial module will
be finalized, and by next year we will use
the best management information software.
Of course, there will be many changes in
the organizational structure according to
the rules of implementation within this
sector. These days we will start the implementation
of our second project, a new data network.
We signed a contract with CISCO-systems,
something for which I am particularly proud
of, because there is no other small telecom
company, like we are, that has a partnership
with CISCO-systems. The third project is
the creation of a new billing system. We
will offer our customers' new packages and
new products by the end of this year. New
packages include the possibility for the
customers to choose different ways of using
voice in the fixed net, as they have it
in mobile already. All these projects during
the last 2 years are a proof that we have
done a lot of things to change the image
of the company and to be more customer-oriented.
We already had a very strong ISDN campaign,
using all media, which allowed us to sell
more ISDN-connections in the few months
of the campaign, than during the last 2
years. In the mobile sector, we took more
than 45% of the market share. We are very
proud, because we started four years after
the other competitor. In fact, we are one
of the best second mobile operators in Europe.
Q2. The traffic in fixed phone calls
increased by 7 % during the last year. What
does this percentage mean in terms of number
of customers, and do you believe that you
will maintain, or even increase this figure
in spite of the new competition?
A2. In fixed net, I think that a
7% increase is natural, because, as I told
you, we did a lot of improvements concerning
infrastructure. Now, we provide new telephone
lines in many new areas, especially in suburban
areas, and the increase in phone calls is
a direct result of this activity. We believe
that we will have a 30% market penetration
for the fixed net, and our target is to
have around 200,000 subscribers. However,
we still have to put some kind of connection
in, for example, high mountain villages.
In urban areas we use the new GSM technology.
Q3. Financially, you had a total income
of EUR 70 million euros in 2002, and a net
profit of EUR 4.1 million. What are your
financial expectations for this year?
A3. Our expectation is to not have
less than 2002, because it was our most
successful year so far concerning the fixed
net. Regarding profit, we expect to have
a slight increase, of approximately EUR
5 million, although it is very hard to make
concrete estimations. In 2002 we started
using international accounting standards
for the first time, but it was only partly,
and this year we will use these standards
completely. Revenue figures are done with
the old standards, and talking about other
figures like profit, amortization or taxation,
is a little bit different. This year we'll
be able to show an accurate situation of
the company to potential investors, because
it will be the year of full implementation
of international standards.
Q4. You mentioned 2 years ago that you
were not satisfied with Telekom's marketing
strategies. Do you believe that there has
been an improvement in this area? Are you
satisfied with the company's marketing?
A4. Although I am still not fully
satisfied today, I must say that there has
been a great improvement in these last two
years. For example, the ISDN campaign was
very good. In addition, we changed the company
image. We have a new logo with more effective
Q5. The Minister if Economy, Darko Uskokovic,
said that "Telekom is one of the best
telecommunication companies in South-Eastern
Europe", and you agreed that the company
"is in the family of Western European
telecommunication". Why do you think
that the tender launched in 2001 was unsuccessful
having such high standards?
A5. The problem was the entire situation,
not just the company. Even now the telecom
sector is not in such a good position in
Europe. All the main companies are having
problems and they decided not to invest
in the near future. Furthermore, two years
ago we lacked the political stability, something
that we absolutely have today. We now have
a stable Government, and this situation
will not change for at least three years,
a period of time that is long enough for
reaching the full stabilization of the company.
2004 will be the year of the privatization
of Telekom Crne Gore. That is the decision
of both - the Government and the Privatization
Q6. Don't you think that 2004 is too
soon for achieving privatization?
A6. I think that we have to try.
They decided to open the tender, to try
within the mobile sector. We will see, and
I hope we will be successful, because we
are not so big and do not need such huge
investments by the main players in the telecom
Q7. Why should foreign investors be
interested in your company?
A7. You have already seen that Jugopetrol
is privatized. I think that it has been
the best privatization compared to all companies
in the region. Montenegro is really an interesting
country for foreign investors. We are a
tourism destination, and that is always
interesting for investors because the season
effects are very important. We are small,
but our position is not bad- we have the
coast, we are bordering with Croatia, Bosnia,
Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, and we also
have Italy just across, so I think that
we are an interesting country. As far as
Telekom is concerned, we prepared everything
to sell this company. We have a good price,
so we only need to find a good strategic
Q8. You are mentioning tourism, a sector
that is among the top priorities of the
Government. Do you think that Telekom is
ready cope with the expected large increase
A8. The main issue is how the mobile
operators care about the telecom sector
during the season. We have a lot of roaming
tourists during the season and the 2 existing
networks have to provide a good service
for them. As far as international traffic
is concerned, they are using our network
when they use the fixed net, and we are
absolutely prepared. Last season was the
best one so far. The situation completely
changed during the last 2 years. Before,
we sent all the international traffic through
the Belgrade international switch. Yugoslavian
PTT used to be the carrier of all international
traffic. However, the situation in Telekom
Serbia and Telekom Montenegro changed, and
they started to be recognized international
operators. We now have 10 direct links with
European telecoms. In other words, concerning
international traffic, Telekom Crne Gore
is much stronger than it was a year ago,
and this has had a very big impact during
the tourist season. I think that our tourists
were very satisfied with the services provided
by the telecom sector. We did a very good
Q9. As President of this company, what
is your biggest challenge when the market
A9. The first challenge is to maintain
the position as the first leading telecom
company in Montenegro. I am sure it will
be that way. Secondly, we hope to have a
Q10. I suppose that the best partner
for your company would be a telecom company.
But, do you have any priority concerning
A10. Personally, I am not selling
the company. The government have to decide
about it. My job is to have a good product.
Telekom is a really good product, the best
one in Montenegro, I am sure.
Q11. How would you like to see Montenegro
in 5 years' time? Not only regarding the
telecom sector, but the country as a whole?
A11. I would like to see Telecom
privatized, with a good strategic partner.
The best thing would be to have a lot of
foreign satisfied tourists during the summer
season, because it will ultimately bring
prosperity to Montenegro.
Q12. Would you like to see Montenegro
as a member of the European Union?
A12. Of course, but it is not realistic
to think this could happen in just five
years. My wish is to have an independent
Montenegro in the EU, so when we will have
the referendum in 3 years, we will see what
steps should be taken next. I hope that
our Government will do everything in order
to establish good environment for foreign
investors and living.