“With OTE’s rapid growth strategic plan from FTE, we strongly support the vision for the digital transformation of Greece. It is a difficult task of great importance for the country”, points out Dominique Leroy, member of the Board of Directors Deutsche Telekom AG, responsible for Europe, in an interview given to APE-MPE and the journalist Vasso Koutsoumba.
Commenting on Greece as an investment destination, Ms. Leroy notes that “the country has made great progress in all areas. It has faced many challenges in the past, but it knows how to fight, overcome obstacles and look ahead.” “We give a vote of confidence in Greece’s development prospects,” he said. He also emphasizes that the OTE Group, increasing its investments to over 3 billion euros, will bring the fiber optic network (FTTH) to 3 million homes and businesses by 2027. As it notes, “this is the largest investment in telecommunications infrastructure It is an initiative that changes the data, as it will create new perspectives for digital development.The state-of-the-art networks are a precondition for the digital transformation of the country, society and businesses, and economy, society and the environment “.
He expresses optimism for the course of the company, as “OTE has a special weight, inspired Management, a specific strategy, dedicated employees and a strong development plan”. He described Deutsche Telekom’s investment in Greece as “of strategic importance, with a long-term horizon”, and stressed that in order to secure Europe’s future, “we must invest today in sustainable development”.
Dominique Leroy has been a member of the Board of Directors of Deutsche Telekom AG, responsible for Europe, since November 2020. He has over 30 years of experience in the field of consumer products and telecommunications and over 10 years of experience in Boards of Directors.
Following is the full text of Dominique Leroy’s interview with the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency
Q. OTE Group announced a large investment in optical fibers. Why and why now?
During the pandemic, the central role of connectivity and digital transformation in the daily lives of citizens and business development emerged. Teleworking, distance learning, telemedicine, digital identification and digital access to public services, smart cities and the digital maturity of businesses, are key factors for the development of the country and the prosperity of its population.
Greece has made great strides in digitalization, and continues to do so. Deutsche Telekom and OTE have made a significant contribution to this process and are now strengthening their contribution, further increasing their investments. We decided to invest more than 3 billion euros to bring the state-of-the-art fiber optic network to about 3 million homes and businesses in Greece. Our goal is to build today the digital infrastructure that Greece will need in the coming decades.
In this direction, DT and the OTE Group have taken two great initiatives: In areas where the fiber optic has not yet reached home, we will double the nominal speeds enjoyed by fixed fixed subscribers, where this is technologically possible. In practice, this means that if someone has a speed of 24Mbps, they will be upgraded to 50Mbps, without any financial burden.
In addition, we will bring the fiber optic network (FTTH) to 3 million homes and businesses by 2027. Only from our investment, will cover almost 2/3 of the lines of Greece with fiber optics to the home. The development of FTTH has already begun. OTE currently has the largest fiber optic network to the home in Greece, with over 560,000 lines. By the end of 2022, the Group is expected to cover with FTTH 1 million homes and businesses. I am optimistic that, by 2027, we will reach the target of 3 million lines.
With the FTTH rapid development strategic plan, we strongly support the vision for the digital transformation of the country and give a vote of confidence in its development prospects. It is a difficult task of great importance for the country. I am sure that the people and the management of the OTE Group can carry it out, as evidenced by their successes so far.
Q. What does this investment mean for Greece?
This is the largest investment in telecommunications infrastructure that has been made in recent decades in Greece. It is an initiative that changes the data, as it will create new perspectives for digital development. State-of-the-art networks are a prerequisite for the digital transformation of the country, society and business, and have an undeniable positive impact on the economy, society and the environment.
Small and medium enterprises in Greece will be able to grow digitally and be internationally competitive.
In addition, digital infrastructure is a key factor in attracting investment, which in turn will help create new jobs. But everyday life will also improve, as with FTTH education, health services and entertainment are upgraded.
The two initiatives of the OTE Group will make a decisive contribution to the improvement of Greece’s deviation from the average of the European Digital Economy and Society index, DESI.
Q. What is your opinion on the local telecommunications market?
The telecommunications market in Greece is highly competitive and highly mobile. With the recent acquisitions, strong players have been created. Strong players lead to more investment for the country and therefore more options and better customer service.
Customer satisfaction is very important to me. Every day we set the bar higher and we constantly strive to offer the best networks, the best customer experience, the best products and services. I strongly believe in customer-centricity, and I am very happy because my partners at OTE share the same passion for the customer. That is why we bring excellent results. The Management and the employees of OTE have turned the company into a model within the Deutsche Telekom Group. High efficiency and innovation are not just impressive words for OTE. It’s a substance. His people have built the best networks, establishing him as a force for digital transformation.
OTE has a special weight, inspired Management, a specific strategy, dedicated employees and a strong development plan. So I’m optimistic about his progress.
Q. What is the image of Greece today as an investment destination? What else do you think the country should do to attract foreign capital?
During the decade of the 10-year crisis, many companies left the country. Not us. Deutsche Telekom stayed. The country has made great progress in all areas. Deutsche Telekom’s investment in Greece has a long-term horizon and is of strategic importance to us. Greece is a wonderful country, with great people. He certainly has weaknesses, he has faced many challenges in the past, but he knows how to fight, overcome obstacles and look ahead. That is why we take on the responsibility that falls to us, we support the vision for the digital transformation of the country and we give a vote of confidence in its development prospects.
In order to attract further investment, Greece must continue with reforms. It is important for the country to have, among other things, a predictable and clear legal and regulatory environment that reduces bureaucracy and boosts investment. A clear, simple and predictable tax system is also very important.
Q. As Deutsche Telekom Europe Manager, you have a clear picture of the continent’s markets and its overall outlook. What do you think is the most important issue in Europe today?
I believe that in order to secure Europe’s tomorrow, we must invest today in sustainable development.
Deutsche Telekom is one of the largest brands in the world and one of the largest companies in every market in which it operates. This is a great responsibility in terms of our positive impact on society. As a telecommunications company, we have identified two strategic areas for our contribution to a better Society: Digital Inclusion and Environmental Imprint.
For us, equal access to digital technologies is essential to “build” a better tomorrow. That’s why we have programs to develop the digital skills of our citizens, as well as our people. At the same time, we have set difficult environmental goals. To zero by 2025 the greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and by 2040 from the entire value chain. We need a common approach from all stakeholders and our goal is to set the example first.
Source From: Capital