On the eve of 2018, the top managers of Kyivstar shared with Mediasat’s audience information about the expected future of 4G, Big Data, chat-bots, security, emotional engagement and other trends for 2018.
Petr Chernyshov, President of Kyivstar, speaks on the telecom market evolution
2018 will pass under the 4G sign. Even as we speak, Kyivstar has prepared its network for launching a new-generation mobile Internet at frequencies of 1800 MHz, purchasing 500 base stations to switch on 4G at frequencies of 2600 MHz, since the tender for them will be held first. We are expecting that 4G will appear in Ukraine as early as in the first half of 2018. By the way, Kyivstar assists its subscribers to get prepared for launching new technologies – it has set up services to verify the support of 4G standard by smartphones and SIM cards.
An important factor that will affect the telecom market is growing mobile Internet traffic. For example, our subscribers actively use unlimited Kyivstar tariff plans and download 100 GB per day (and there are those too), and in general, Ukrainians prove active in using mobile Internet for communicating with near and dear ones, working, studying, entertaining, shopping – for anything.
It’s not enough for companies just to have its footprint on the Internet, they should learn to communicate with customers online. Here are some figures: our smart chat-bot Zoryana takes part in 100 thousand dialogues monthly, 85% of which do not require our operators’ permanent assistance. We were pioneer Ukrainian operator that arranged an online community. Its feature is that users themselves help each other to solve problems regarding products and services, share their experience, and suggest improvements. For three months of community’s life, more than 3.500 users have signed up there.
For the last few years in Ukraine, we have been evidencing a gradual improvement in the interaction between business and government. At least, it refers to the telecom business. I sure hope that in addition to the two 4G tenders in 2018, a few more important issues will be settled down positively: extending emission standards for base stations, abolishing sanitary passports, launching mobile money, implementing technological neutrality, i.e. the ability to run any service at any frequency that will allow for deploying 3G network in the band of 900MHz. In general, I believe that 2018 will be even more prosperous than the outgoing year.
Pavel Daniman, Chief Marketing Officer at Kyivstar, speaks on marketing trends
Next year, video consumption will go on growing. Naturally, there appear new formats of working with this content: introducing AR and VR technologies. For example, we made a virtual 3D movie based on “Vartovi Mriy” Show (Guardians of Dreams) in partnership with Starlight Entertainment, but it’s not enough just to make a video, you need to convey it right to the consumer. Marketing will become even more customized. We have been creating personal customer offers for 2 years, because subscribers strive for more. Not just a personal offer, but a personal offer at the right moment. We shift from one-to-one marketing to one-to-moment marketing. This is a good challenge even for technology companies, but I’m sure that we will succeed in dealing with it.
Data-driven marketing will go being next year’s trend. Business solutions base not only on analytic reports, but also on real-time data. This allows being flexible, since the company can quickly adjust advertising, asses the efficiency of subscriber communication, design a new product in light of real customer demands.
If business processes become more complicated, then the communication, quite the opposite, tend to simplicity and humanity. The coming year is a dialogue with the consumer heart, and not the wallet. Creation of individual experience through brand background engagement established long-lasting emotional ties with clients. No doubt that the emotional engagement would be a communication trend in 2018.
Alexandr Denisenko, Chief Security Officer at Kyivstar
The number of cyber threats and cyber-attacks has essentially increased over the past few years, and Ukraine has been at the top table of international hybrid war. This means that every company in our country can become a target for any kind of cyber-attacks aimed at getting confidential information and/or destroying infrastructure performance. So, we all need to meet the next year head-on. Apart from common security recommendations like sophisticated passwords, bans on installing third-party software, high-quality firewalls, etc., companies come to understand the importance of cyber security as a more significant area that requires a system approach, since the skills and knowledge of IT professionals may not be sufficient to ensure business continuity and data privacy.
The second important aspect to pay attention to is that beginning in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Parliament comes into effect. Though it was adopted in the EU, its provisions also apply to Ukrainian companies, if they collect and process personal data of EU residents. Violation of this Regulation results in administrative fines of up to EUR 20 million, or, in case of economic entities, of up to 4% of the “national” annual turnover for the entire previous financial year, whichever higher the sum.
Vitaly Sultan, Chief Digital Officer at Kyivstar
Everything that will happen in the IT sphere, startups, and digital projects in the next few years will be somewhat associated with AI – artificial intelligence. For example, the role of automation has been totally changing. If before there was a goal was just replace the routine work of a person with computer algorithms, then today, the task of automation is to collect data at every possible part out every possible action. After that, these data allow for building algorithms for computerized learning. For the time being, there is a classification of three “types” of artificial intelligence: narrow AI, general AI, and super AI. The first type solves problems in a narrow domain, for example, of Google maps for plotting the most reasonable routes. The second one, general AI, is able to complete general tasks, for example, it works on a number of queries and generates answers applying different models and based on several datasets. The third one, super AI, tends to catch up with human IQ, and we can see it only in fantastic films, although I am personally confident that we will witness the super-intelligence in a real life in the next decade.
Anna Zakharash, Corporate Communications Officer at Kyivstar
“PR has died, PR is alive, PR will always be” – this discussion has been lasting for many years. In fact, communication with different audiences has simply altered. First, it is impossible to interact only with mass media due to social networking platforms that have made press-off people opinion leaders. Communication immediately turns out public and must cover everyone who can see it. Second, traditional PR tools and channels have disappeared, and now all communication, whether they are marketing, advertising or corporate, have become 360. Third, PR professionals, following the marketers, have been creating even more emotional and simple communication, combining isolated projects into large platforms, which are understandable to target audiences. So we did with our social and charitable projects, and now they will exist on a single platform Sharity.
The year is expected to be very interesting and bright, because digital allows quickly gathering feedback from the audience, adjusting communication in light of its efficiency.