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Martin Peronnet: Vote of confidence in the Cyprus economy

September 21, 2018 at 10:50am
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Monaco Telecom’s decision to acquire MTN Cyprus is a vote of confidence in the local economy and aims to build strong, extensive and long-lasting relationships, says Monaco Telecom CEO Martin Peronnet.

In an interview with Phileleftheros, Peronnet described MTN as a perfect fit for Monaco Telecom and said the company is committed to the Cypriot market as well as to earn the consumer’s trust and stay focused on delivering world-class products and innovation

Q: Monaco Telecom has recently acquired MTN Cyprus. We do know who MTN Cyprus is. Could you please tell us a few words about the “who is who” of Monaco Telecom?

A: Monaco Telecom is the incumbent operator of the Principality of Monaco, delivering fixed, internet, TV, mobile services, as well as international data connectivity, housing and cloud services.

Furthermore, it is a key member of NJJ Holding, an ambitious European family of telecoms companies, consisting of leading operators in the markets of France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Monaco and Cyprus. NJJ owns the majority of Monaco Telecom – the Principality of Monaco holds rest of the shares. The combined strengths of our two shareholders set our main values: innovation and excellence, customer service, speed and long-term commitment.

Q: Why did you choose in invest in MTN Cyprus?

A: MTN Cyprus was carefully chosen because we do believe it is a perfect fit with our industrial vision to offer high quality services. It is an ideal platform to build the best network and invest on quality and innovation. The Cypriot company was conscientiously selected after a long observation period because of its high potential and dynamic prospects.

During the transaction process, we fruitfully cooperated with an excellent management team that achieved strong growth over the past few years for the company. As you already know, MTN Cyprus is the fastest growing operator in the country, recording an over 20% base increase in the last years and revenues of EUR 123 million in 2017.

Moreover, this very acquisition supports Monaco Telecom’s vision to build a regional presence in the Mediterranean Basin.

Q: Apart from Monaco, NJJ operates in a number of countries such as France, Italy, Switzerland, and Ireland. Why did you choose Cyprus as an investment destination?

A: Besides the investment opportunity itself, Cyprus enjoys a number of competitive advantages, including an important geographic location, modern infrastructure, a transparent regulatory and investment- environment, and a wide range of business support services.

Furthermore, Cyprus’ economy is one of the fastest growing across the EU, and provides direct access to international markets. Last but not least, Cypriot people are open to new opportunities and challenges, something that is reflected to Monaco Telecom’s mentality as well.

Q: Shall we consider this investment as a vote of confidence to the Cyprus economy?

A: This comes without saying. Through this investment, Monaco Telecom casts a vote of confidence in the local economy and aims to build strong, extensive and long-lasting relationships. The company’s presence upgrades Cyprus’ reputation as an attractive investment destination and international business hub.

Unlike short-term investments looking for quick profit and exit, Monaco Telecom is looking to build strong and enduring partnerships. The company is committed to the Cypriot market as well as to earn the consumer’s trust and stay focused on delivering world-class products and innovation.

Q: A few weeks ago, the completion of the transaction was announced. How is your experience so far?

A: We are satisfied with the process and the results so far. This acquisition is central to our strategy and we are pleased with the completion of transaction, as we were preparing it for a big amount of time. We are very excited to commence operations in Cyprus, enhance the quality of the network for all our customers and start building on quality and innovation.

I am impressed by the way we have been welcomed by all the stakeholders we have been able to meet during our three consecutive first visits in Cyprus. They have all shown interest and appreciation in what we are trying to achieve. This is very encouraging for us. During all the meetings we have had, we have we indicated our commitment to work together and showed that Monaco Telecom is ready to join forces, skills, and vision to upgrade the role of Cyprus in the regional telecoms map. The move also, sends a bold message about the long-term prospect of the investment and demonstrates the dynamic fresh kick ahead of the new era.

Q: In relation to the Cypriot market, where is your attention turned to, the residential or the business market?

A: I would say that our strategy is concentrated on the entire spectrum of the Cypriot market.

Q: During your announcement for the acquisition of MTN Cyprus, you had stated that this action is completely compatible with your vision to offer your clients high quality fixed and mobile telecommunications. As we perceive it, there are few yet important common aspects between Cyprus and Monaco: they are both geographically small markets, but they have strong economic vitality (banks, shipping, construction, trade, tourism etc.) Are these common aspects enough for you to be optimistic for Monaco Telecom’s growth in Cyprus?

A: If we were not optimistic, we would not have invested in Cyprus. We are determined to succeed. I would like to underline that Monaco Telecom is a “laboratory of state-of-the-art networks”. The company develops a strong technological approach to telecommunications, offering innovative products and services to its customers, relying on high quality broadband networks.

Q: Ιn the short-term and in the long-term, investment opportunities such as 5G are quickly coming. How Monaco Telecom will deal with all these challenges and what does its business strategy include?

A: The 5G technology is, for sure, a massive investment opportunity.

As you know, we recently announced a strategic cooperation with Huawei to make the Principality of Monaco the first country in the world fully covered by 5G network. This significant agreement highlights the dedication of Monaco Telecom to develop innovative solutions and strong technological approach in telecommunications.

Q: You are referring to last week’s announcement. Where does it stand right now? Which phase of the cooperation are you in?

A: Monaco Telecom and Huawei finalised an agreement on Friday September 7, in Beijing, in the framework of the State visit of H.S.H Prince Albert to China. This very agreement is part of the partnership that started in 2012 between Monaco Telecom and Huawei, the world leader of fixed and mobile networks.

This partnership had already led, in 2017, to the launch of the first 4G mobile network at 1 Gbps. It also signals the wish of Monaco to acquire the most effective communication technologies through its telecommunications providers. The network is expected to be fully deployed and host the first commercial terminals, by mid- 2019.

This collaboration aims to shape the face of Monaco’s digital future. The 5G network will be a key driver for digital economy and for the development of the smart-city.

Q: So, what exactly does the term 5G mean for you and what could it mean for Cyprus through Monaco Telecom?

A: 5G marks the beginning of a new era for the global communications. The incredibly high speeds that it offers, will mark an irreversible change in our lives for the better. 5G is not only about connecting people, it is also about connecting things. It will drive a new industrial revolution, change manufacturing and delivery processes for example. It will also be a key enabler of the autonomous car market. It is a decisive step towards technological advancement and innovation.

And as I just said, Monaco Telecom has the experience and the know-how to implement it in Cyprus.