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Mobile telephony as we know it will die

Telia Danmark is in the process of switching from being a traditional telecommunications company to an IT business offering a platform for the increasingly digitised life of consumers. The company’s membership of the Confederation of Danish Industry and DI Digital will play an important role in this transition, explains HR Manager Helle Høyen.
Helle Høyen, HR director at Telia Danmark, is working to convert the telecommunications specialist into an IT company providing a platform for driverless cars and Internet-connected refrigerators. Photo: Thomas Arnbo.

Publiceret: 20.10.2016
Af Niels Brandt Petersen mail

In a few years’ time, the established telecommunications industry will look very different as it adapts to digital technology and the changes taking place in mobile telephony and customer requirements.

Telia Danmark’s HR Director Helle Høyen is in no doubt about the future of the Danish telecommunications industry and Telia Danmark itself.

“Mobile telephony as we currently know it with SIM cards will die,” she says.

But she is still cheerful at the prospect. Because it also means that Telia, which has almost one million customers in Denmark, is currently working hard to change from being a traditional mobile telephone provider into a modern IT company which in future will not have mobile telephony and SIM cards as its core products.

“It is a huge challenge, but it is also a very exciting one,” says Helle Høyen.

See also: Tech giants love Denmark

Learning from Blockbuster

Like so many other industries, the Danish telecommunications industry has been challenged by developments in digital technology. For telecommunications companies, this means that customers are increasingly asking for more than mobile telephones, contracts and cheap talktime. They want streaming, lightning-fast Internet access and full mobile coverage wherever they go.

The mobile masts owned by the telecommunications companies will play a big role in this new future and a great deal of work is required to effect the change. Telia Danmark is ready to take up the challenge, explains Helle Høyen.

“We aren’t Blockbuster. They refused to offer streaming and they died,” she says, referring to the American video rental company that was overtaken by streaming services such as Netflix and HBO and went bankrupt in 2010.

This is why Telia Danmark has launched a major rethink of the way in which the company is run. This will form the basis of the development of the company where success will no longer only be measured by goals achieved, but just as much by the way in which those goals are reached.

“We will no longer measure our success by the number of SIM cards sold, but increasingly by the value we create for our customers,” says Helle Høyen.

See also: Foreign nationals to plug shortfall of IT speicialists

Where will Telia Danmark be in five years’ time?
“In five years’ time, Telia will look nothing like it does today. Our new agenda now and in the future is that we need to ask ourselves what services our customers need us to provide. It may be, for example, that customers want intelligent refrigerators that connect to the Internet, driverless cars or top-speed Internet connections."

"As a network provider, we need to provide the platform for all of those. That is why we are in the process of a transition to allow us to adapt to the customer requirements of the future. We do not know precisely how we are going to get there, but we have a clear agenda that sets out our general direction.”

What are your greatest challenges?
“Right now, our management is facing the challenge of restructuring the company. We need a paradigm shift where the new form of management is not about employees working from 8 am to 4 pm. Instead, we need to focus on going to work because it is exciting and because we want to deliver quality to the customer and create value for them.

That mindset appeals very much to the younger generation. It can be difficult for older generation and those managers who might think ‘oh no, that’s difficult’. That does not mean that everyone needs to change their working habits from one day to the next if they feel more comfortable within the existing format. We have to be able to embrace both the new and current paradigms because we believe that this is the right way to go.”

How do you use the Confederation of Danish Industry in your work to achieve your new goals?
“The Confederation of Danish Industry offers a wide range of services that we can benefit from. For example, networking groups which we use for discussion and generating ideas. Both on the development of digital technology and the area of data protection where a great deal is currently happening both legally and politically in terms of what we are permitted to use information for.” 

Telia Danmark A/S
Part of Telia Company which is the world’s seventh largest telecommunications company and originates in Sweden.
Telia established itself in the Danish market in February 1995. Currently, the company has almost one million Danish customers
Number of employees in Denmark: approx. 1,100 of whom about 700 work at the company’s headquarters on Amager in Copenhagen.
Turnover in 2015: SEK 5.9 billion.
Member of DI Digital.
We aren’t Blockbuster. They refused to offer streaming and they died.
HELLE HØYEN, HR DIRECTOR AT TELIA DANMARK
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PUBLISHED: 10/20/2016 LAST MODIFIED: 4/15/2017