Veon boss urges operators to leave the past behind

Kaan Terzioglu

co-CEO at Veon

INTERVIEW: Kaan Terzioglu, co-CEO at Veon (pictured), argued the mobile industry must right the wrongs of the past and adapt to new business models, highlighting opportunities in credentials management, payments and data as routes to generate new revenue streams.

Speaking to Mobile World Live, Terzioglu was damning of the industry’s record over the past 30 years, arguing it was happy to be “flat” and therefore had failed to develop business models beyond prepaid and post-paid across four generations of mobile technology.

However, despite branding the industry “slow” and showing “a lack of adaptiveness”, he believes it had at least been “resilient” and said it is now time to tap new opportunities.

Terzioglu noted between 5 billion and 6 billion people have a mobile telephone number, potentially an “unbelievable asset” in the digital economy as the basis for a credentials management platform, displacing the numerous user IDs and passwords consumers use today.

He also argued mobile payments was “a very natural, adjacent” market which must be embraced, stating operators in most cases had more customers than the world’s biggest banks.

Finally, he urged operators to address the huge opportunity that exists in “everything about data”, from keeping it safe to analytics.

“As the licensed, credible, trustworthy partner to tackle this domain, I think we have a unique opportunity and we have to reinvent the business we are in.”