By Paul Rasmussen

Telia CEO buoyed by post-pandemic opportunity

As the world recovers from Covid-19, operators have a burgeoning opportunity to shift away from past negative perceptions of their capabilities and performance to become much more optimistic about their prospects.

“After a period where telcos have been undervalued and even value-destructive for their owners, I see the tide shifting,” said Allison Kirkby, President & CEO of Telia, at Monday’s keynote, New Tech Order. “The digital infrastructure that we develop, the trusted nature of our business model and the enabling services we provide are increasingly important for customers, governments and societies alike.”

By working collaboratively as an industry, the Telia boss claimed that “we have an opportunity to be the great tech enabler and to build the trusted ecosystems of the future, delivering a sustainable and value generating future for our stakeholders”.

She continued: “Owning network infrastructure, much like energy infrastructure, will be vitally important for emergency services and for being at the heart of any trusted ecosystem. After all, who would dare to outsource mission critical services to unknown middle men these days?”

According to Kirby, this level of trust becomes even more important for organisations seeking solutions around cybersecurity, identity, fraud and payments. “So, as every point of connectivity becomes business critical or mission critical, those who own their infrastructure, will have a competitive edge.”

Also on the horizon, claims Kirby, are the prospects for operators when AI and other ecosystems of information combine. “From connected suppliers and customers - complexity, and vulnerabilities multiply, making security and reliability even more vital. With the adoption of cloud, remote working and globally distributed supply chains, enterprises face a dilemma.”

The answer to these questions comes from building long-lasting partnerships that form trusted ecosystems. “Like the ones we have with Ericsson, Nokia and are developing with our digital infrastructure partners across the region, and that our customers have with us.”