‘We hope to reach 25% of the market in Colombia’: Wom
With the goal of achieving one million users this year, Wom began operating in the country this Monday, April 5, with the official presentation of the rates for mobile phone plans, with which they have promised to generate dynamism in the market.
Chris Bannister, Executive President of Wom in Colombia, and Germán Giraldo, Vice President of Market for the brand, spoke with EL TIEMPO about how they hope to conquer the sector, the progress of the deployment of the network infrastructure and what will happen to Avantel, which was mainly acquired by Novators Partners, owner of Wom.
(It may interest you: Who is the owner of Wom Colombia?)
This Monday they presented the rates for mobile phone plans in the country, what expectations do you have with this announcement?
Chris Bannister (CB): By the end of this year we hope to reach one million clients in Colombia. Since February, when registration began, 210,000 people have registered to be part of Wom, it was quite an important reception. In the next two or three weeks we will define how many people become customers. Based on what happened on Monday, we see a lot of excitement from Colombians about the brand. Now begins our work of committing ourselves to these Colombians and that they feel happy to be in Wom.
Germán Giraldo (GG): There is an immense commitment from the 1,800 employees of the company. We cannot pretend that this company is perfect from day 1, but what we do have is commitment, courage and honesty to face the challenges and to tell Colombians what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong.
When will the first line be activated? When will the first call be made?
GG: It has already been activated, since this Monday a thousand accounts with Wom have already been activated.
(Also: The rates with which the operators want to compete with Wom)
I am quite surprised that the competition is still focused on this issue, we do not focus on these small issues
They have been in the country for almost a year preparing the launch, what reading do they make of the market in Colombia?
CB: We arrived in Colombia because we identified that it was a market in which there were quite high prices, the quality of the service was not that good, there was a low level of innovation, and this occurs precisely because there were three operators that did not stimulate competition. As we began to roll out our networks, we saw dynamism begin to grow in the market. Although we have had challenges, we have faced 17 demands over the last year, we saw that more dynamism has been generated and this is something that we saw also happen in Chile and Poland when we arrived.
How will they compete with the other operators?
GG: The most important thing is that 50 million Colombians are going to benefit from all this. In the end, one of our pillars is fair prices, we launch the fairest prices in the market and if the competition responds, great, because the whole country will benefit. And if we have to respond and give more to Colombians, we are going to do it.
How are they going with the deployment of infrastructure?
CB: In relation to the commitments that we acquired with the spectrum auction, we had two deadlines, the first was fulfilled in January, which was satisfactorily achieved. The second is on May 5, we are underway to meet this date; By that time, we will have 674 communities connected in the country that will have these services for the first time. Although we have had some challenges, such as winter and security in some areas, we are on time according to plan.
(We recommend you read: SIC opens investigation against Facebook for data leakage)
The operators have indicated that Wom should not be in the category of incoming operator for the purchase of Avantel, what opinion do you have on this?
CB: It is an issue that became clear with the decision of the CRC, which confirmed that Wom was indeed an incoming operator. I am quite surprised that the competition is still focused on this issue, we do not focus on these small issues, but on moving forward.
In terms of investment, what are the next plans that you have from the company?
CB: We have an investment plan for the next four years of one billion dollars, among this is the network of 8,000 antennas that we are going to build and the 2,500 jobs that we hope to generate. With this we hope to reach 25% of the market in Colombia.
It is important to recognize that Avantel did not invest enough and that is why there have been problems in relation to the quality of the service
What will happen to Avantel users?
CB: Avantel and Wom belong to the same business group, but the companies will exist independently, they will continue to serve the segments to which they are oriented. Our focus from Wom is to serve those segments of the population that have been neglected, those that are disconnected, to the 20 million Colombians who currently do not have access to 4G.
(Also: A great friend is leaving: Yahoo Answers ceases to exist)
What I say to shareholders is that for the last quarter of this year the idea is to review how this strategy of the two companies has been working and also to know how Colombians have reacted to them in order to make a decision.
Avantel currently has the highest rate of complaints per line, according to data from the SIC, how are you going to change this picture?
CB: Work is being done to improve customer service, different strategies have been developed. However, it is important to recognize that Avantel did not invest enough and that is why there have been problems in relation to the quality of the service. The possibility, through network capacity or roaming agreements, is being reviewed to improve coverage and thus improve the customer experience.
But from Wom itself an investment is being made at the network level, from Wom there is the experience of Chile and Poland of building their own network at the national level that allows customers to have good coverage and that is what we hope to do in Colombia.
How is the interconnection process with the other operators going?
CB: The process ended happily for everyone. It took a little more than we expected, that was an issue that was left to conflict by the CRC, which ended with a resolution determining that the interconnection by Tigo, Une and Claro had to be given to Wom before 26 of February this year. In the end, the technical team made it possible, also with the collaboration of the legal team, it was achieved.
You may also be interested in:
– How to listen to WhatsApp audios without the other coming out blue cool?
– User data leaked from 533 million Facebook accounts
– Batteries! So they are stealing WhatsApp accounts; avoid falling into the trap
MARÍA FERNANDA ARBELÁEZ M.