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Telenor and Telia merger to create Nordic champion
01 September 1999
Pending EU approval, Telenor, the dominant provider of telecoms services in Norway, is set to merge with Telia, its Swedish counterpart. The merger, the first in Europe, would create an operator with significant mobile, Internet and media interests. Telenor's CEO Tormod Hermansen talks to Basil Ballhatchet about the main challenges that would face the merged entity.
Telenor, the Norwegian state-owned operator, expects to gain
approval from the EU for its merger with Telia, its Swedish
counterpart, in October. This would be the first time that two
telco incumbents had been merged in Europe. According to the
merger agreement, the Swedish state will hold 60% of the
capital in the company and Norway 40%. However, both telcos are
committed to a parity holding in the company, following an IPO,
which would involve the sale of 33.2% to private investors. The
new company would be listed in 2000. Tormod Hermansen, the CEO
of Telenor, would be appointed new CEO of the merged entity.
Telenor has already perceived the benefits of being an IP
carrier. It recently announced a link-up with Cisco Systems to
build the world's first national full-service network, based on
Viking Kjellstrom, a telecoms equity analyst at HSBC, talks
about the risks and benefits of the merger: "I think the real
challenge is to integrate the companies and really bring out
the synergies, which are significant. We expect merger
synergies of Nkr5 billion ($608 million). When you have a tough
merger process, for example, the people on the Swedish and
Norwegian mobile side have been negotiating on one side of the
table. Now these people are going to sit down and start working
together. Of course, that is now a big challenge, as merger
negotiations are quite tough. They are handling this issue, by
moving all the people to a separate integration office to make
sure that all these people really start working together and
make business plans, so that once they have EU approval they
already have some business plans and strategy to roll out."
The new operator can draw on traditional strengths, such as
mobile and Internet services. Kjellstrom notes: "If we break it
down, they were quite early into mobile. They have a very nice
international mobile footprint. It is very impressive, not as
strong as Vodafone/AirTouch, but not far from it. Similarly,
they are very advanced in the Internet. Coupled with their
investments in international infrastructure, they could be
quite a powerful supplier in that area as well. Interestingly
enough, they are strong on both the corporate and consumer
side. So they could actually explore the IP carrier trend and
the sort of portal business side of things, where you have
opportunities relating to E-commerce. We also see them as very
strong in media, not only cable, but also on the satellite
front where they are into broadcasting, satellite, mobile and
data communications. I would rank them as number three in
Europe on that level. That could provide them with a
competitive advantage in Europe."
If approved, Telenor and Telia plan to sell all overlapping
assets over the next two years. The new company may also have
to dispose of cable interests, as the EC has already expressed
its concerns about operators which also have a dominant
position in cable TV.
In an exclusive interview, Tormod Hermansen the CEO of Telenor
explains how the new operator could make a significant impact
in both the Nordic and European telecoms markets.
When do you expect the Telia/Telenor merger to be
approved by the European Commission?
Hermansen: By mid-October.
Presumably you have to sell certain assets to ensure
So which assets will you have to sell?
Hermansen: As is well known, the Commission has
raised the issue of cable TV. I think that was to be expected,
because you know that the Commission, and in particular Mr. Van
Miert, has very strong views about allowing incumbents to
remain in the cable TV business as well. So that issue was
brought up very late in the first phase of the approval
process. But we know that this is on the table now. This is one
of the issues that we will have to discuss in depth with our
Do you think that a merger of two former incumbents is
healthy for European telecoms?
Hermansen: Yes, in particular for telecoms in Europe.
This merger is not a defensive step. It is primarily geared at
healthy competition in the European market. We are more
advanced in key areas, we have lower prices, we have carried
out more efficient operations and we will bring to Europe a
company that has already proved that it is a leader in most
areas. And we already have some important activities in Europe.
It would be a misunderstanding to look at Telenor and Telia as
traditional incumbents. Firstly we are very strong in the
Internet. We have established a presence in a number of
countries in Europe and elsewhere. And we are much more aware
of our revenues from data communications, satellite and other
new businesses. So we really have something to offer to the
When can we expect to see a stock market listing of
the shares in the company to be sold by the Norwegian and
Hermansen: The new company will probably be listed in
the first half of 2000. Our working schedule is based on a
listing early in the second quarter.
Why was there a 60/40% split of the shares in the new
Hermansen: That was a result of variations in the
valuations of our two companies at the exchange rate at that
time. Telenor brought 40% of the values in the company, while
Telia brought about 60%. These values are approximate, as it is
always difficult to assess the worth of different companies
prior to their actual listing. This is not an exact science.
But these were the figures that we finally agreed upon.
How easy will it be to combine the management teams of
Telia and Telenor? Will you have joint CEOs and CFOs?
Hermansen: We will have no joint positions. We are
already in the process of recruiting people to various
positions in the joint company. There will be one CEO and one
CFO. There will only be one man or woman in each position. It
is a demanding task to integrate two old companies. These two
companies are about 100 years apart. Joking aside, it will
still be a demanding task. It is not that Swedish and Norwegian
cultures are that different. After all we have much in common
in terms of values, norms and traditions. But there are
differences in traditions and the manner in which we do things
and in the governance of the company. We have to resolve a
number of difficult issues. But we perceive these to be
challenges, rather than problems. Both companies display a
strong willingness to go ahead and are very innovative. This
helps, as we have been through virtually the same processes:
downsizing, restructuring, changing from purely government
agencies into real companies.
Similarly, what role will the Norwegian and Swedish
governments play subsequent to the merger, as they will be the
majority shareholders? Could this lead to a conflict of
interest in these two markets?
Hermansen: I look on the governments as financial investors. I
expect them to be good owners, in the sense that both
governments will work to create value for this company. At
least in Norway, since we became a limited company, there has
been no government intervention in our affairs. So we have
built up a strong tradition in distinguishing between our
relations with the government as authority and a regulatory
agency and our relations as owner. So I do not expect any
I would like to add that civil servants are not allowed to
serve on the boards of state-owned commercial companies in
Norway. Sweden has adopted a diametrically opposing tradition,
with civil servants on the board of businesses. The Swedish
government has appointed one civil servant to be on the board.
But this is the part of the government responsible for owner
and investor affairs. So I expect this to be a professional,
strong and supportive owner.
And you don't think that there will be any problems,
related to labour, social security and other legislation?
Hermansen: Basically the legislation in Norway and
Sweden is very similar in most relevant areas. In terms of
regulation we are governed by the EU directives.
Which assets are you likely to have to sell? Will you
have to sell your stake in Telenordia?
Hermansen: Yes. That is one of our overlapping
activities. We are prepared to sell Telenor securities in
Sweden and all those activities that are overlapping. Of
course, Telia is prepared to sell Telia Norway.
How will this affect your operations in the Irish
Hermansen: Telenor invested successfully in ESAT
Digifone. Telia has a small stake in the incumbent there,
Telecom Eireann. We will sell one of those stakes. We have not
published yet a list of the most strategic assets.
When do you hope to complete the disposal of
Hermansen: That depends on the outcome of our
deliberations with the Commission. But I expect that it will
take from 6-18 months.
What will happen to loss-making international
Hermansen: As you know, most greenfield operations
are loss-making for one to three years. We do not see them as
loss-making, rather as values which are built up. Both Telia
and Telenor have a number of activities in this start-up stage.
They will create values for the future. I don't see these as a
problem. Quite the contrary. That is the way it works in our
particular line of business.
How will the merged entity be better able to compete
on a global scale? Will you target the European data
Hermansen: Definitely. That is the main challenge. We
will target this market both as a carrier and as an Internet
service provider in various ways. We will also be very
aggressive in UMTS, wireless data communications. We have
already invested in a fairly large number of companies. And we
will definitely be an important player in the European Union.
Why have you decided to form 14 business units? Surely
there is a risk that the units will overlap and target the same
clients for similar lines of business?
Hermansen: To a certain extent, yes. I think that we
formed the 14 business areas from a practical standpoint. We
needed to get the process started from the bottom up as well.
It turned out to be a convenient starting point. In order to
present ourselves to the capital markets, 14 business units are
too much. We will certainly combine these units, for
presentation purposes, into six or seven business lines.
Organizationally you never really finish. We will certainly go
through a process to create more comprehensive business areas,
both from the government's viewpoint and for presentational
purposes. You can in fact look at 14 sections as lines of
business, rather than business units. This is one of the issues
that we are working on right now.
Will you have to reduce the numbers of
Hermansen: Interestingly, when I took over Telenor in
1991, the operator had about 20,000 employees. Now we have
exactly the same number of staff. But there is a complete
change in the staff, as we have heavily downsized a number of
activities, while expanding new areas of operation. I expect a
continuation of this underlying process. In other words, there
will be downsizing and upgraded use of staff, both as a result
of technology and market development.
We will reduce staff in some areas owing to cost synergies.
But at the same time we will see strong growth. So the
challenge from the employment perspective is to redirect the
staff and upgrade their competencies. This will be a difficult
task. It is not that easy to channel engineers into the market.
But Telenor and Telia have both been working on such
downsizing, the re-allocation and upgrading of competencies for
the whole of the 1990s. This will be a continuation. This is
not a problem: it is a challenge. Although it is a rather
State-owned operators have been based on traditional
models of voice telephony. How are you going to transform the
company into one that can take on new entrants that are able to
build state-of-the-art networks from scratch?
Hermansen: Well, your questions may be relevant for
most European incumbents. But it doesn't apply to Telia and
Telenor. We have pioneered developments in satellite, mobile,
carrier and Internet activities, even in the directory
business. If you take Telenor, we have been competing with
Netcom in GSM since 1994. Telenor has been the most successful
incumbent in retaining market share. We retain 70% of GSM
market share. No other incumbent has managed to be the
front-runner. You can see the same situation in ISP. We have
70% of the ISP market, despite a number of competitors. We have
been innovative and will continue to be. Therefore, as I said
earlier, the main reason for the merger is to join forces and
exploit our modern way of doing things and innovative traits,
in order to strengthen our activities in Europe. So we will
really be an important player in all areas.
Could you tell us about your link-up with Cisco
Systems to build the world's first national full-service
network based on IP technology?
Hermansen: As you know, Norway is not the easiest
place to establish good telecommunications. There are long
distances to cover, fjords and mountains. We have managed to
get to the forefront technologically and also in pricing. We
envisage an IP-based future. We have been working in the
direction of multi-purpose networks for some time. We consider
Cisco to be probably the most experienced and advanced supplier
of network equipment. We are pleased that we have this
partnership and will gain experience together with Cisco on how
to set up this new type of network We are proud that Cisco
decided to work with Telenor on this issue. Obviously Cisco had
discussed this network build with other operators. I expect
Telenor to become a front-runner in network development and
IP-based networks in the future.
When do you think that the network will be
Hermansen: Never. Actually this project will last
two-three years in the first stage. Then we will have to
evaluate it ourselves and go further. You know, good
partnerships never end. Network development never stops.
How will you link this network with Telia's
Hermansen: Telia and Telenor have both invested
significantly in modernizing their transport networks, with ATM
and similar things. We are very close to completing the SDH
installation. And now we are deploying ADSL. The only
difference is that Telia has been working closely with
Ericsson, while we have used other suppliers, as well as
Ericsson. As I am not an engineer, I cannot say too much about
this issue. Our engineers will assess how the two networks can
over time be developed more along the same basis. I expect that
we will exploit the best systems for both companies.
If we can continue on ADSL. Can you tell our readers
about the recently launched terrestrial broadband ADSL service?
Where are you offering such services? What customers are you
trying to attract with such services?
Hermansen: We launched this service in Oslo,
Stavanger and Tromso. We will offer ADSL services in most big
cities in Norway by the end of 1999. We are targeting small and
medium-sized businesses that do not have their own high-speed
lines, but need more broadband capacity or higher speed than is
offered by ISDN. Let me add that we have the highest
penetration of ISDN in the world. So we have been quite
The customers will basically be the good old companies and
institutions that are too small to have their own leased lines,
but need high capacity in their telecoms systems. This is the
first stage of offering broadband services on the copper wires.
We have had interesting experiences and tests in this area in
multi-media offerings, even television. We want to be at the
forefront. We have been looking at the opportunities to create
values, modernizing and building far more capacity in the
access networks. This is one of the prime challenges for the
You mentioned ISDN. I believe that you have about
370,000 users. When do you expect to have one million
Hermansen: It is difficult to indicate the exact
number of subscribers or users, as one subscription includes at
least two lines. We now have installed more than one million
ISDN lines: 40% of the fixed network traffic is now ISDN-based.
We may well pass the million mark in three or four years' time
- in that case not only as ISDN connections but also as ADSL
connections, which we will also be offering to our customers.
The development of the Internet is very closely linked to ISDN,
much more so in Norway than elsewhere.
When do you think that IP voice telephony will become
feasible? Will you cannibalize your revenues?
Hermansen: We already offer IP voice telephony, as
many other companies do today. We were the second telco, after
operators in Finland, to launch commercial offering of this
service. We can perceive cannibalization in all services. We
are not afraid of cannibalization. We offer what the customer
wants and is willing to pay for. We have a number of competing
services. GSM for instance surpassed the analogue NMT mobile
system long ago. So this is not an issue.
What new services do you plan to offer on the IP
Hermansen: Probably there are no limits to fantasies.
The future network will probably be a very high-speed network
with significant capacity and will be IP-based. You can expect
all types of services: interactive, media and E-commerce
services. My job is to organize these activities. I am not
updated on what new services will be offered.
How will regulatory intervention affect network access
Hermansen: I expect the EU and the national
regulatory agencies to impose stringent regulations, enabling
our competitors to use our network. Local loop unbundling is
now under discussion at the EU. We have discussions about local
loop unbundling as a condition for the merger. We feel that we
are very well prepared. White papers on local loop unbundling
were submitted to Norway's parliament in spring.
Most importantly, we own the network. We have to develop the
network further. Therefore we want to offer network access on
commercial terms. There are some technical aspects related to
the network facilities. So only one company should own and be
responsible for the network. We are very much in favour of open
networks. We open this network in Norway and Sweden: we expect
that this will have a certain impact on our market share. On
the other hand we expect to gain similar access in other
countries and exploit other opportunities. We are in favour of
local loop unbundling.
Once the merger is approved, will you make strategic
acquisitions in the Nordic markets? Will you concentrate in
this area, or will you make more investments in mainland and
Hermansen: Clearly we will be very interested in
making further acquisitions in Europe. We are also looking at
Asia. We are large in Russia and Eastern Europe. We also have
some activities in Latin America. We expect to have Tele
Danmark and Ameritech as an important competitor in most areas.
But we still have very good working relations with Tele
Danmark. I believe that we will see a process of structural
adaptation of the European market. And we will take part. There
are number of opportunities.
Telia has investments in Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania. Will you step up your investments in this region?
Will you become an integrated service provider in this region?
Will Telia's collaboration with Sonera in the Baltics affect
Hermansen: We will certainly co-operate with Sonera,
not only in the Baltics, but also in other parts of Europe. We
will certainly be in the Baltics for the long term. We aim to
develop telecoms there. We will invest whatever is necessary to
create an efficient and profitable activity in this whole area.
Was your investment in VimpelCom affected by the
devaluation of the rouble in August 1998 and the economic
crisis in Russia?
Hermansen: We have been in Russia for nine years, in
the north-west and in St Petersburg. We have decided to go
further into Russia. We have been in discussions with VimpelCom
and other companies there for a long time. Inevitably the
economic crisis had an impact on the timing of these
investments and the price. VimpelCom is a listed company. We
thought that it was the most promising company to participate
in from a risk perspective. There are some challenges in
working in Russia. For example, the change of government the
other day, which is the third or fourth change, since we
started working with VimpelCom. Clearly there are political
risks, but there are promising long-term market prospects. You
could consider our investments so far as positioning. We see a
number of opportunities in Russia.
What benefits would you gain from a global player such
as British Telecom as a strategic partner? What forms of
co-operation would you look to have with BT in the
Hermansen: If you take Telenor and Telia together, we
will still be a small operator in this game. We have no
opportunity to develop a global network, so we need a global
network partner. We also need a partner in R&D. We expect
our partner to respect our independence as a company. There are
a number of ways to co-operate as partners. You should never
rule out equity investments. We haven't finalized discussions
on this issue yet, but we can see various options.
One option is to work very closely with BT, as Telenor has
been doing for some time, as I say not primarily from the point
of view of global access, but also based on R&D. Telia has
over time come to look upon BT as one of its main competitors.
So we have to go through a process of defining our own strategy
interest in more detail, before we can really take any
strategic decision. But as I see it, we will still be a small
company. We will have to work with a number of partnerships. It
could also be interesting to have a more general partner. This
is something that we will have to work on. BT is a possibility,
but there are other options.
Telenor recently won a UMTS licence to test new mobile
phone technology. What was the significance of this licence
Hermansen: We have UMTS licences for Norway, Sweden
and Finland. It is our ambition to be a front-runner in UMTS.
Telenor has been involved with other operators and suppliers in
the development of a universal standard. It is the most
important development in cellular for the next three or four
years. We intend to invest at least the same amount in UMTS as
we did in GSM. It remains to be seen what impact UMTS will have
on the industry's structure. But we will always look at
partnerships and co-operation.
How many cellular subscribers do you currently have in
Norway? What percentage of the Norwegian market do you
Hermansen: Telenor had 1,527,000 GSM subscribers and
an additional 160,000 subscribers to the analogue mobile
systems at the end of the first six months this year. This
represents continued strong growth. If we incorporate the
estimated number of subscribers with those of our competitor,
Norway has a total penetration of over 55%: this is the highest
penetration in the world after Finland. In Norway Telenor now
has a market share within GSM of close to 70%.
Will you combine with Telia's mobile subsidiary to
offer one set of services to both Norway and Sweden?
Hermansen: I am convinced that we will see
pan-European and pan-Nordic services in a very short time. And
we will certainly be eager to be at the centre of such
operators. I can't say when that will happen, as a number of
regulations have to be adapted.
A number of operators have referred to the need to
focus on core competencies. Telenor has, however, invested
significantly in broadcast media, acquiring Norkring. You will
be responsible for 90% of terrestrial television and radio in
Norway. Is there a risk that you will lose your focus, as you
become a content provider?
Hermansen: We will certainly not become a content
provider. We are a content distributor. We will not engage in
content provision. We have a very close relationship with Canal
Plus on distribution rights. We need to fill the capacity in
our satellites with interesting TV channels and programmes. Now
what is core competency? I started in this company in 1991.
Some people at Telenor talked to me about our core competence.
It was fixed line telephony. Mobile wasn't part of the core.
When IP and the Internet came up, people told us that we should
keep to our core competencies. The notion of core competence is
continuously changing, and we have to change with it.
Telenor announced recently that it was offering the
same charge for both national and local calls. Will this
substantially erode margins from national calls? Why did you
decide on such a move?
Hermansen: First of all we have had to institute a
long process of rebalancing our prices. We saw very early that
we had to distinguish in the future between local and
long-distance calls with low cost bases. We increased our
subscription prices. From a competitive angle we thought that
we would have the strongest edge and best balance, if we had
just one call price. As we couldn't perceive the difference in
the cost base in the long run, this step would not add much to
our cost base, compared to the impact of lost market share
owing to price increases. So we considered the issue from a
competitive and regulatory standpoint. We feel that while core
prices should fall further, we need to keep a fairly high
subscription price. This change has been very well received by
our customers and the regulatory authorities. This move makes
it a little more difficult for our competitors. Hopefully this
should have a positive impact on long-distance services. The
prices in Norway are very low, so the margins are also very
low. To make money, you need to achieve a certain volume.
How do you view the potential for E-commerce?
Hermansen: E-commerce has developed very rapidly in
the Nordic countries, but not as rapidly as you would expect in
the future. In Sweden E-commerce has focused on
business-to-business, while in Norway E-commerce has been more
business to customer. Telia and Telenor are very actively
involved in these developments: Telenor has focused on the Net
market, while Telia has concentrated on the
Do you believe that Telia/Telenor will be able to set
up a cable TV network? At the same time, is there a risk that
the EU will try to separate Telia's cable and telecoms assets?
Is there a risk that you may invest in upgrading the cable
network and then end up having to dispose of this
Hermansen: You have struck the core of our
discussions with the European Commission. Let me come back to
an earlier question about core competencies. We have defined TV
distribution and broadcasting as a core competence. This
provides an interesting opportunity to have a technological
platform for various satellite and broadband services. From the
outset, it was not our intention to buy Norkring. The
broadcaster took up the issue with the government. We were
supporting a government decision. Telenor has owned from the
outset most of the television network. We felt that we would
run things more efficiently, if we controlled the whole
network. You can clearly derive benefits from economies of
We still think that TV distribution and broadcasting is a very
interesting area. We own three satellites in Europe and we rent
a lot of capacity in other satellites. We distribute from
Ukraine, Russia and most East European countries. We still want
to be an important player in Scandinavia. The relation between
satellite TV and cable TV distribution is not as simple as it
used to be. There are other new platforms.
If we are forced to divest ourselves of cable, we will build
other platforms based on our fixed line and terrestrial
broadcasting. We are not afraid of losing focus, as this is a
separate part of our long-term strategies. Satellite
broadcasting is also necessary as a base load for satellite
systems. You have to fill the capacity with television.
Do you think that the EU will try to make you divest
all cable TV interests?
Hermansen: If you put it that way, I expect that they
will. It is well known that they will ask us to divest and may
even force us to sell. So we have to develop our own solution,
in order to remain in TV distribution, through other platforms,
such as satellite.
How are you implementing your strategy to be a leading
IT services provider?
Hermansen: There are two interesting lines of
development. Firstly large customers want to buy a complete
package of communications and IT services from one source. We
have set up companies in Telia and Telenor that receive
outsourcing contracts. Outsourcing contracts are important, in
the sense that we have a fairly efficient operation in running
and operating IT systems. The other aspect is to establish and
service it with IT systems. You could look at this as a core
competence. But you don't need to do that. This is an area
where we engage in close co-operation with other companies.
For example Telenor has put most of its operational activities
in IT into a listed company. We are the majority owner. The
future for this service depends on our ability to retain our
competitive edge. This is very much manual work. In Telenor we
have organized this into a separate company. Importantly the
revenues into this company are not based on any traffic income.
They are paid for their ability to sell in the market. And we
have been, I would say, very successful. We will probably do
the same in a merged company. This IT service could develop in
a way that makes it convenient and practical to take the other
owners in the company and list it on its own. Personally I very
much believe in running these sorts of companies at an arms'
length distance to communications-based companies.
Why? Do you think that there is a risk that it could
damage your market branding?
Hermansen: No, not to the brand. I think that this
creates the strongest possible incentives on the IT and
installation contracts. They need to have a fairly large number
of services and activities. Those activities are to a certain
extent different to those of a communications company. We want
to be the majority owner, but not the sole owner. It should be
kept, in order to achieve an efficient market between the
suppliers and buyers of these services, which will to a certain
extent be internal companies.
What are your hopes and ambitions for the company over
the next two-three years?
Hermansen: My ambition is to establish the new
company in an efficient way, achieve a stock listing, see the
share price at a level that the equity holders like and make
sure that Telenor becomes established in a strong way in Europe
and also Asia. We expect the total value of the company to at
least double within four to five years. That is my ambition. I
also want this to be a real transnational company.
What trends do you see emerging in telecoms in that
Hermansen: The strong underlying trend concerns rapid
change from more traditional switching to IP. That is the real
main trend. We are already well established. I believe that you
will see profound restructuring in Europe and that there will
be some consolidation. I guess that there will be fewer larger
companies at the top end and that there will be a large number
of small specialized companies in the low end of the market.
So you have to find your place, either among the large or
small ones. This is a challenge, as we can never be one of the
large companies. We could be a very efficient in-between
operator in some areas. We expect mobile to be one area where
we could have the necessary scale. But that would require
involvement in structural transactions. We also expect our
satellite activities to serve as the basis for expanding into
other areas. So the future is IP, mobile, data and a number of
niche players and a much more efficient market. Even in two
years the markets in Europe will be borderless.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Hermansen: I would like to stress that this industry
is great fun. We are privileged to be able to take part in
these developments. It is fascinating from an organizational
and commercial viewpoint, which is my main interest. If someone
had asked me 15 years ago if telecoms could be a fascinating
business, I would have doubted that. When I said in 1990 that
telecoms would be an interesting industry, only a few people
agreed with me.
I entered this field by chance: the government asked me to
take over telecoms operations. I was permanent secretary in the
ministry of finance. I had to choose between a position at the
central bank of Norway and CEO of Telenor. And I chose
telecoms. I had the feeling that a lot of things would happen,
but I didn't foresee the extent of change in this sector.
I believe that the next 10 years in telecoms will be much more
challenging than the 10 previous years. This industry is
changing the whole community. It is changing the local,
national and global community for the better: when people can
communicate, people get to know each other and get together.
This is a very good business. It is very competitive. You have
to keep on biting the table. If you look at Scandinavia and
compare developments with the situation a year and a half ago,
only one of the five CEOs is still in place. So it is a tough
game. But it is great fun.
I think that it is difficult to find any other sector which
provides such challenges. I am not a technician, I am not an
engineer. I am not really concerned about the type of services.
I want to make young people keep the speed, work efficiently
and realize their ambitions. I think that I become more
fascinated with this sector every year.
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