|Europe II 2012
|The telephone – the door to the rest of the world
Johan Andsjöis the CEO of Yiogo. He was born just 39 years ago in a working class suburb of Stockholm and graduated at the Royal Technology Institute in Telecommunications Engineering. Mr Andsjö started his career as an adventure guide and has made an adventure of his professional life within TeliaSonera ever since. He worked his way up in TeliaSonera as an engineer and his first adventure was setting up their business in Brazil with the startup Tess. That, together with his knowledge of the mobility arena in the Nordics, brought him to Spain for his biggest challenge yet, to set up the 4th operator,Yoigo, in the fastest time ever and bring it to profitability in record time for a European Operator.
Johan Andsjocollects languages as he does wine, enjoys leading teams but letting them develop their own potential. He makes things happen with a positive personality and sense of humour which are the traits of his type of leadership.
Smart devices transform the phone into a versatile travelling companion. The phone can now navigate to our destination (GPS), find what we need locally, take high resolution pictures and entertain us during the tedious travel time. The mobile phone is a great help in managing travelling arrangements while on-the-move and can even replace the printed boarding cards altogether. With ubiquitous internet, you can stay in touch constantly, anywhere on the globe. All that – while roaming charges are becomingso much more affordable.
You probably all remember the time not so long ago when you went away and your phone was simply something which you took with you to let people know you had got there and to say you were home so that someone could come and pick you up. You got to your hotel and you left it in a drawer until the day you left. Especially if you were travelling abroad and the cost of phone calls was too high.Nowadays the telephone is much more.It is your travelling companion that makes your life a little easier from the very first minute of your journey. You’ve just made your reservation and just a few seconds afterwards you receive an SMS or a BiDi(Bi-Directional)code message. You load it onto the screen and bingo! You have your boarding card! The same goes when you’re going to arrive late and miss your ride – you can enter into the relevant application on the company´s web site and make a last minute change to your ticket. I speak from experience as someone whose phone has helped him more than once to make his travel plans more flexible.
When you are travelling, a phone or any other mobile device, such as a tablet, helps make life a little easier and more fun. This is a fact of everyday life. A few days ago I went to the Mobile World Congress on the Inter Cityand over half the passengers were connected to the Internet on tablets, mobiles or laptops. All these devices plus the possibility of connecting to mobile broadband Internet mean that now you can take your office with you wherever you go, so you can get on with your work and avoid being snowed under on your return to the office. You can access all your documents as if you had never left your workplace. Work isn´t everything – mobiles have now become an amusement arcadehelping the time we spend on the train, bus or plane to fly by. Films, games, music….it’s all there,on the smartphones and tablets. You can have hours of fun simply by having Spotify on your mobile, downloading your favourite film or keeping your friends up to date with your escapadeson Facebook or Twitter.
The only limitations are memory capacity and battery-life of the Smartphone or tablet.
Even when you arrive at your destination it´s not time to put your phone away. “Where am I?”, “Where do I want to go?”, “What is there nearby?”…The answers to all these questions are only just a click away in your pocket. There is nothing better than a smartphone to find out where you are, or to show you around an unknown city. These smart phones have an incorporated map and navigation service to get you out of a tight spot and so that you don´t need to waste hours staring at maps in order to find your destination. There’s nothing more annoying than having to stop every ten minutes in an unknown country in order to find the way to the place you are going.
What’s more, the mobile phone is also a space saver. Not long ago you had to travel with your camera round your neck but thanks to the mobile we can now take good quality photos (they’ve just brought out a phone which has up to 41 megapixels!) and share them with our friends straight away without having to download them onto the computer.
You can even use it as a phone!
We’ve already spoken about everything you can use a phone for when you’re travelling…but we forgot one very important thing! The first thing we normally think about when talking about taking a phone abroad is the cost. This has been changing. In the last few years operators, regulatory authorities and public administrators have been paving the way for a steady decline in international roaming prices. Let’s concentrate on the mobile phonein the Spanish market, the area in which I have the most expertise: the drop in prices has been significant. Now, you don’t need to think twice before calling or sending a message when you’re away from your home country as it’s perfectly affordable. It is even cheaper to send a text message from another country to Spain than it is to send one within your own country!
A contributing factor to this decrease in prices is the appearance of applications which allow you to speak for free between any two computers which have the same application downloaded and are connected by the Internet. Probably Skype is the best known of these and it is now available universally, mainly thanks to the widespread use of the internet. In fact the never ending increase in the use of VoIP programmes is a challenge which we, mobile providers, need to meet to ensure that we can stay in business in the future whilst providing the best possible service to our clients.
We’re already taking our first steps within this world and for some time now we have been providing a service which allows our clients to talk on their landline in more than 40 countries worldwide without installing any programmes. Calls are made via the Internet and this means that our clients can catch up with their friends and family across the globe at competitive prices.
The obvious next step with voice over internet will be to find the model which allows access to programmes like Skype, Viber or Tango, in a way which fits in with the operators’ business model. This will make communication effective internationally. So we are trail-blazing a path which adapts to an ever changing market in which the mobile internet is becoming more and more important each day.
Smartphone and international connection.
Having overcome this first obstacle to reach true globalization of mobile communication, it is now clear that the mobile Internet and smartphones have become the true stars in the world of communication. The phone is no longer just a device for talking, but our access to the Internet, our GPS system to find our whereabouts and our entertainments centre from which we can play or listen to music. All of these services need a connection to the Internet, in order to download maps for the GPS, connect to Spotify account to synchronize music on your phone or check your emails anywhere and at any time.
The development in Spain of these types of devices never stops and we estimate that by the end of this year, five per cent of our customers will own them. People who have this kind of device don’t only want it so they can speak or send texts, but so that they can get the most out of it. It’s the ultimate expression of the concept of “Always on” – always connected, always able to be located, always available. Operators have to be responsible for making all this possible, finding solutions for challenges like access to the internet in aircraft, which is possible, but we need to find a way of invoicing and of giving a great service.
To sum up, your mobile is your new travelling companion who is with you on every stage of the journey to make it more fun and safe, and when on business, more profitable.