In 2020 A1 Belarus continued to operate under the single brand of A1 with the transition period completed successfully in 2019. In 2020, the company's revenue amounted to EUR 402.6 million, EBITDA – EUR 172.8 million (EBITDA decrease of 9.48% as compared to 2019). Nevertheless, lower depreciation and amortization expenses of EUR 63.5 mn in the year under review (2019: 90.2 mn) led overall to higher operating income that increased by 7.93 % and made 109.3 mn.
In 2020 A1 Belarus made the first VoNR call in the CIS and launched the first autonomous 5G SA network in Belarus in the test mode. A1 Belarus was the first in Belarus to confirm compliance with the licensing requirements for the performance of work and the provision of services in the field of information security of critically important objects of informatization. In 2020 A1 Belarus and Visa entered into a strategic partnership agreement to develop digital financial services. A1 Belarus purchased the assets of the Belarusian provider "Multiservice Network".
In 2020 A1 Belarus was engaged in development of mobile and fixed communications (providing communication for a new line of Minsk underground, the development of 4G in rural areas and GPON in regional cities). Solutions of A1 Belarus in the field of IoT were introduced in the project for increasing safety of user electrical installations. A1 Belarus released a new solution for remote bridge safety control, an inclinometer, which measures the angle of inclination of objects and transmits data over its NB-IoT network.
In 2020 A1 Belarus faced significant impact of COVID-19. Understanding the critical importance of telecommunication services and taking into account the possible decrease of country population mobility due to the spread of the coronavirus, A1 decided to help its subscribers to keep in touch with their close people and stay up to date with the latest news without any additional costs. A1 Belarus launched the #stayonline campaign to provide its subscribers with free unlimited basic Internet traffic, as well as access to popular films and movies in VOKA.
Moreover, A1 Belarus became the first business in Belarus that began to provide large-scale support to doctors in the fight against COVID-19. The company provided 500 communication kits and A1 Alpha phones for use in dirty areas of infectious diseases hospitals, opened free hotlines to inform about COVID-19 and raise funds for doctors, and sponsored infectious diseases hospitals. A1 Belarus also provided direct charitable support to the Minsk Infectious Hospital, a health institution that was assisting patients with COVID-19. The funds were used to purchase the necessary equipment such as artificial lung ventilation (ALV) apparatuses, PCR-based diagnostic devices, coronavirus diagnostic test systems, protective garments for health workers and medicinal products.
During 2020 A1 Belarus continued to develop corporate social responsibility (CSR) stream according to the priority areas: helping children, supporting national self-identification, and green living. In December 2020, A1 adopted the Environmental Policy. In accordance with the ESG (Environmental. Social. Governance) principles, A1 has established certain goals and tasks that the company plans to achieve between 2021 and 2025.