Digitalisation is progressing rapidly in almost all areas of business and life. The A1 Telekom Austria Group sees itself as a key pioneer and companion on this journey. In the year 2017, it therefore consistently pressed ahead with its transformation and evolution into a preferred digitalisation partner and IT-company. Providing top-quality connectivity and bandwidth forms a sound basis for this.
Alejandro Plater, CEO A1 Telekom Austria Group: "The telecommunications industry is also changing rapidly. We are evolving from a telco to an IT company. This implies that we also digitalise ourselves, and use new business models and growth potential outside our footprint. The backbone of all our activities is our high-performance converged network, which we are continually modernising and expanding."
Convergence plays a fundamental role
The convergence of fixed-line and mobile networks is playing an instrumental role in ensuring that the A1 Telekom Austria Group has a high-quality, future-proof network infrastructure. After all, to guarantee wide and efficient regional coverage with increasingly greater bandwidth means intelligently combining these two technologies in a hybrid internet product.
The A1 Telekom Austria Group has already established itself as a convergent operator in six of its seven core markets. The next 5G communication standard, the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) and cloud-based services for the B2B market all require high computing capacity. This is increasing the relevance of data centres as the third pillar of the A1 Telekom Austria Group´s infrastructure strategy. A high-tech data centre is currently under construction in Vienna.
A1 Digital – a driver for digitalisation
A1 Digital, founded in 2017, focuses on two areas in particular: IoT and cloud-based ICT solutions. The acquisition of the Swiss cloud provider Exoscale in September 2017 is now allowing A1 Digital to offer cloud-based services on this platform, too. In addition, Zurich and Geneva are also available as points of delivery alongside Vienna and Frankfurt.
Future technologies and a modern IT-environment for more efficiency
Digital transformation remains one of the A1 Telekom Austria Group's top priorities. This also includes the virtualisation of its network infrastructure. The first virtualised network systems have already been transformed into state-of-the-art IT environments and gone into commercial operation at the Austrian, Bulgarian and Belarusian subsidiaries A1, Mobiltel and velcom. Network function virtualisation (NFV) is also a basic requirement for the automation of 5G networks.
Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), a new network technology, has been established as a global industry standard. This is a mobile network developed especially for machines that optimises power consumption, coverage in buildings and latency periods (i.e. data transmission in real time as far as possible). NB-IoT was successfully rolled out in Belarus and is already being widely tested in Austria.
In addition to the virtualisation of the network infrastructure, services are also being embedded in a virtualised, cloud-based infrastructure. This allows for significantly more efficient operating processes with lower costs and quicker launches of new services, thus offering an ideal platform for competitive innovations.