The Croatian telecommunications market has begun to recover after several years of decline, however, further development and better results require investment and stronger focus on digital business models, heard a conference "Trends in Telecommunications in 2016", held in Zagreb on Tuesday.

The regular annual conference, organised by the Lider business weekly and the PwC Croatia consulting firm, attracted about 200 participants including executives of the largest telecommunication companies in Croatia.

The Hrvatski Telekom (HT) board chairman, Davor Tomaskovic, said that based on current trends, a continuing recovery could be expected in the sector this year. 

"The market has stopped contracting. We expect this year to be financially similar to last year and as there can be no development without investments, HT will continue to invest in broadband infrastructure and increase its capacities in mobile and landline networks and that will most certainly be more than one billion kuna," he said.

Tomaskovic added that those investments would depend on obstacles like red tape and what the government intends to do.

Recalling that in 2015, HT invested HRK 1.3 billion to strengthen its network, Tomaskovic underscored that Croatia's position had improved significantly with regard to broadband access over the past two years and particularly last year. 

"Croatia is currently at the very top in the EU with regard to mobile internet. It is lagging behind in the landline network, however, that situation will improve and I believe that we will stand better in about two years once the announced investments are realised, at least those conducted by HT," he said.

The thing that interests our users the most is the price of services which will not fall for the time being, said Tomaskovic. This was confirmed by Jiri Dvorjancansky, chairman of the board of the second largest telecommunications company in Croatia - Vipnet. 

Dvorjancansky added that he was satisfied with the company's business results in 2015 (to be presented next week) which has resulted due to increased demand in Croatia for attractive and convergent services (combined TV, Internet, mobile and landline phone services) and faster data transfer.

After several years of falling, last year the mobile phone segment market stabilised and a growth in the mobile and landline broadband market was recorded which now covers all of Croatia," Dvorjancansky said.

"This year and next, every segment, including telecommunications, can expect digitilisation, a process which many compare with the invention of the steam engine because literally everything in our lives will be digitalised...and that will change our image of the world. That will lead to completely new business models that we cannot even imagine now," the Iskon company's chairman of the board Sasa Kramar said.

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