The undisputed strategic location and political stability of Cyprus make it a safe-haven for business in a troubled region.
Could you give a brief overview of MTN - its services, market position and growth strategy?
We are proud to have created a modern, dynamic company that has spearheaded developments in the telecoms industry for the last 10 years. MTN Cyprus is a member of the MTN Group, a multinational telecommunications company which operates in 22 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, serving the needs of more than 231 million consumers. Our group shares are also listed on the JSE Securities Exchange, in South Africa. Today, MTN is one of the largest telecommunications providers in Cyprus and offers integrated telecommunications and IT solutions to both consumer and business clients. We offer a wide range of service including mobile, fixed telephony and broadband services, as well as a full pack of IT solutions to meet every need. MTN owns the most advanced technical infrastructure in Cyprus, including a private fiber network and 4G. This enables us to offer our subscribers reliable services of the highest quality. The company employs approximately 400 Communications and IT professionals, who share a solid technical background and a deep understanding of the telecom industry. MTN is also the owner of the largest private retail chain owned by any provider in Cyprus, with 16 stores across the island. Further to our corporate presence, we take the lead in also supporting the economic and social life of Cyprus. We contribute to the Cypriot community by providing support to sports, educational and cultural programs, youth entrepreneurship and corporate volunteerism.
What do you see as MTN’s competitive edge and what are your key priorities for 2016?
First and foremost, MTN combines excellent network quality with flexible solutions that provide maximum value. Second, we take the lead in developments in the country, we were the first to bring in 3G+, the first to launch 4G and, now the first to offer a complete telecoms and IT business solutions package. Third, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive service to the market: our subscribers can reach us in all possible ways, in person, by phone or online. Our business customers enjoy complete telecommunications and IT services, which have been designed to meet their unique needs. Our future growth will be based on investments in equipment and infrastructure, and also on the convergence of communisations with IT.
How would you describe the overall telecommunications infrastructure in Cyprus today?
Although Cyprus is a dynamic and outward-looking market with a relatively developed telecommunications industry on par with other European markets, a modernisation of the infrastructure is necessary. Preparation for the 2020 digital agenda requires the rollout of modern and flexible access networks. We need to further invest in the capacity of our networks and make all the necessary technical adjustments in our wireless infrastructure to stay competitive.
What niche areas or services could be developed in Cyprus in terms of telecoms?
The undisputed strategic location and political stability of Cyprus make it a safe-haven for business in a troubled region. Our offering could be substantially complemented by the development of more cloud and virtualised technologies to serve the wider Middle East and North Africa regions.
What key opportunities do you see for growth and investment in Cyprus?
4G and the convergence with IT are gradually transforming the sector and improving the international position of our country, by turning Cyprus into an important, secure and developed service hub in the SE Mediterranean region.
What are your expectations for Cyprus and its economy for 2016?
Cyprus seems to have overcome its recent economic woes, and has successfully completed the stabilisation programme. According to both its lenders and international expert bodies, a positive trend is expected in all key indicators that will further improve the economic climate on the island.
How do you see Cyprus developing in the next five years and what message would you like to relay to the international community?
I am optimistic about the future. After the hard sacrifices and the robust implementation of a difficult restructuring program for the banking sector, the Cypriot economy has found its way back to growth faster than expected. Our beneficial tax framework, modern infrastructure, the highly-skilled domestic workforce and our pleasant climate make Cyprus a top tourist destination throughout the year. All these factors are contributing to the rapid economic return. Furthermore, if the negotiations succeed to solve the Cyprus Problem, it will be an unprecedented boost for the investment climate. My message is that Cyprus, apart from being a pleasant and hospitable country with great people, is also a significant destination for investments. Companies with aspirations to be engaged in the markets of the SE Mediterranean, Middle East or North Africa, must seriously examine the possibility of establishing a presence in Cyprus.