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Keeping the Country Connected

Serzh Velychanskyi
15 February 2018

Kyivstar, the country’s largest mobile network operator, has been keeping us connected for almost 25 years. What’s On sits down with their Director of Business Development, Evgeniy Krazhan, to find out what makes them the Ukraine’s shining star of mobile communications.
Evgheniy Khrazhan, part of the company since 2005, has moved up through the ranks as business process manager to his current position as b2b director. When it come to the promotion of the brand, Khrazhan is very direct: “We have always been about family and relationships, health and children. Our competitors feel the need perhaps to be more dynamic. But we have a different approach. We provide a fundamental service to nearly 26.4 million subscribers, so we look to concentrate on the needs and interests of those subscribers.”

ICT and Mobile ID
Khrazhan talks passionately about a program they are currently working on with the government, called Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Three basic principles are associated. “Every solution should be as simple as it can be for the client,” he starts. “It should be the best solution possible, and it should include mutually beneficial cooperation, meaning the best price/quality correlation.”
Part of the ICT strategy includes a Mobile ID service, something which may or may not bring significant profit but certainly brings us closer to a more modern digital era. “This is especially important as we are moving away from standing in line for State services, like, for example, at the real estate registry or applying for a birth certificate. Previously, you never knew who had access your files. To prevent the misuse of data, a mobile solution was initiated whereby you get an SMS to your phone if anyone attempts to access your private information. In addition to these agencies, there are many more yet that require standing in line and lots of red tape. We want to digitise it all.”
There is demand for other kinds of solutions within the State, where Kyivstar can offer expertise, technology, and solutions also. “Such as iCloud storage. It is imperative the State understands that the services they offer are important to the citizens [the govern]. In order the service on offer does not suffer, we can step in as technological partner. This is how the west operates: the US government for example subcontracts most of their tasks to corporations to ensure transparent procedures and ease of fulfillment.”

Megabytes and 4G
Kyivstar have big ideas for the daily consumer also, that requires using Mobile ID as a sort of identification number. At the risk of being turned into a hostage of technology, Khrazhan says they are currently testing smaller solutions in order to go to market in one to two years. “Let’s take 3G. A typical mobile service user does not need to understand ‘megabytes’, they just want to understand the services available – can they listen to their music? Can they watch a video? If they can watch a video normally, they are satisfied. And this is why price becomes less significant. If, for example, before they paid 50 UAH and had many issues with quality, now we say, ‘let’s make it 100 UAH with everything included!’ It makes life easier for us to plan new developments.”
And that certainly includes 4G service. “Other countries took four to five years before they could pay off their 3G service before introducing 4G – it took use two, thanks to the rise in use of smartphones in Ukraine by 60%.”
Smartphones have certainly become a vital part of life. Though, many people are still hesitant about new services, especially, when talking about personal data. “This is true, and at the same time we are already living in a new world. A video chat with your parents isn’t magic anymore. We are also working with Microsoft Office 365 to offer Cloud Solutions for our corporate clients. It’s not only mobile, its protected. In the near future, solutions like SaaS и IaaS will be available to our customers, which corelate with international standards of security and quality.
Could it be partly the fault of Kyivstar that we need to get used to so many new services? “Yes, we understand that,” Khrazhan says laughing. “But it’s part of progress!”

 

“Every solution should be as simple as it can be for the client”

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