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Telenor potentially influences higher number of Internet users in Serbia

Use of mobile Internet in Serbia has been growing rapidly, free Internet on a phone activated by more than 282,000 citizens in the first eleven weeks


November 27, 2010 – According to statistics released by Opera Software, Serbia ranks number one in the top European countries for both page-view growth and user growth, with each mobile web user in Serbia browsing 385 pages on average per month. In Serbia, Telenor subscribers open around 80 Internet pages a day on average, or 2400 a month.
According to these data, mobile Internet use in Serbia has been growing rapidly, owing to cooperation between Telenor and Opera through the “Telenor Klik“ service. Free Internet on a mobile phone has been activated by more than 282,000 citizens in the first 11 weeks after its presentation. According to a survey of the Serbian Statistical Bureau, around 50% of people in Serbia have never used the Internet, compared to 18% in Europe. Activation of this service in Serbia can potentially influence improvements of these statistics.
 
"Introducing Telenor Klik with Opera feels like launching a small revolution making mobile internet very easy for wide Serbian population still using mostly feature phones. I'm happy that we have managed to integrate together Opera Mini, social and network aggregator, network traffic management, Internet access on a phone and a relevant on-line media content into one simple proposition of Telenor Klik reaching more than 237,000 activations", says Marek Slacik, Telenor Serbia Chief Marketing Officer.
In July 2010, there were 20,000 active Telenor users of Opera Mini, while after the activation of the “Telenor Klik“ service that number reached 120,000 in October.

"The mobile Web is taking off in Serbia, and Telenor is the first operator to embrace this trend. High demand for it, coupled with the “Telenor Klik” service, should keep Serbia ranking among the top countries in Europe for mobile web access," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera.
According to the Serbian Statistical Bureau for 2010, 82% of households in Serbia have a mobile phone, 39% have Internet connection, and nearly 22% use the Internet on a mobile phone. These figures confirm that there is room for its expansion. A survey on electronic communications in households in Europe in 2010 shows that 87% of households have a mobile phone, 57% have Internet connection, and 56% use the Internet on a mobile phone.
High price, insufficient cost control, webpage design not adjusted to small screen and slow traffic are the main reasons for avoiding the Internet on a phone. The “Telenor Klik“ service, which enables free Internet access from simpler mobile phone models as well for Telenor subscribers, is activated by sending an SMS with the text “Klik“ to 9000 and accepting terms of use in a return message via a link. The offer includes Telenor browser Opera Mini, enabling review of all web contents as on a PC, and Telenor Communicator, which unifies access to email services, social networks and chat at one place. After a promo period, the price will be RSD290, tax included.
Opera Mini browser uses servers for adjusting website contents to viewing on a mobile phone and reduces Internet pages to a suitable size without changing the way the page is used. The compression in Opera Mini reaches up to 90%, meaning almost 1500 MB of webpages in Opera Mini can be viewed without going over a user's 150 MB limit.
In the Broadband Development Strategy in the Republic of Serbia by 2012, one of important strategic objectives is reduction of a difference in broadband connection penetration rate between the Republic of Serbia and developed European countries. The main problems related to Internet access are low network quality, inflexible tariffing system and relatively high prices. A solution lies in encouraging free competition at the telecoms market, and the expansion of a range of services an operator can offer to end-users.
Higher Internet access will contribute to faster economic and social growth and new jobs, as confirmed by the Analysis of Socio-Economic Impact of the Internet in Emerging Economies, conducted on behalf of Telenor by Boston Consulting Group consultancy agency.