Over the last 20 years, digitization has taken place, which has a major impact on our daily private and professional lives, as well as the operation of companies and institutions. There have not been many advances in modern technology that we take for granted today. Widespread mobile internet, smartphones and remote tools using virtualized cloud storage have all become a critical infrastructure. This change helped us to cope with COVID-19 in many respects and ensured the operation of various parts of the economy, education or healthcare. We shop significantly more online. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops have become an integral part of our lives. 5G will be the largest transformation platform that will enable innovation in various parts of the national economy, such as manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, education, agriculture.

In the past a concern, today a necessity

Today's business is completely different. The situation 20 years ago in the corporate environment was not yet fundamentally stable on IT and the Internet. "Gradually, IT elements came into the corporate environment, but employees were more afraid of that than they should use it. There was also no software to combine it all, no concept of cloud or online training. Today, it is the basis of business, you cannot move without it, "says Ondrej Macko, editor-in-chief of TOUCHIT magazine. According to him, today's processes run faster, things are more controlled and monitored. It is simply another world to adapt to.

In the past, the role of the operator was a priority in providing connection or operation of a collocation data center, where customers stored their servers. "Today, we help companies automate many internal processes and streamline operations. As an example, I will mention mobile device management solutions - a new employee of a company that uses such solutions has all the necessary company approaches, security policies and work tools automatically assigned within minutes of unpacking the work phone, "says Štefan Rak, B2B segment manager at Orange Slovakia.

The way we find and reach potential customers has also changed, with mobile operators playing a much bigger role than in the past. Today, companies have sophisticated tools for SMS geomarketing or extensive anonymized big data analysis of population behavior, which can help them, for example, find the right place to open a new branch.

With the rise of new technologies and the transition to the online world came new threats. Gradually, the number of cyber attacks of the ransomware type began to grow significantly, targeting the customer's digital infrastructure. "In this regard, too, as an operator, we must be able to help customers, which we have been doing successfully so far, by developing our portfolio of Orange-managed security services," continues Štefan Rak.

"Recently, digitalisation has increased productivity and accelerated the launch of new products and services. We think that the ability to use the large amount of data that companies have today can further improve their services and products. Another challenge is to find solutions to promote innovation among companies, including medium and small enterprises, "says Ericsson Slovakia CEO Zsolt Komzsík.

It all depends on the speed

In the past, large companies had a communication problem, and everything only happened when people met physically. "Voice telephones were much more widely used, but they were mostly landlines, so it was necessary to be in a given place at a given time. You couldn't call the car, which was quite restrictive. The challenge for large companies was the coordination of processes, but on the other hand, it must be said that as people we found a way and it worked, "continues Ondrej Macko. Today, it's more about the fact that employees in one company in one location may never have met physically and are better known from the screens of Teams, Zoom and the like. Coordination is easier, part of the work can be automated, but the human factor is still important for success.

The Internet connection was once slow and unstable, companies could not rely on it so much, and a large number of activities took place offline. Today, however, everything is different. According to independent measurements, Orange has the best 4G network in Slovakia, which was appreciated by all customers, especially during the pandemic, when they were left to stay at home. "We are glad that independent measurements confirm what we have been working on for a long time - to provide our customers with the best mobile network for their lives and business," says Štefan Rak.

According to him, Orange sees the potential for the development of network services in the coming years, especially in the new generation of mobile network. In the short term, higher transmission speeds of the 5G network will bring, for example, the possibility of connecting homes and business premises to connectivity with parameters similar to an optical connection, without the need for physical fiber.

In the medium term of several years, 5G will bring us completely new ways of using the mobile network