|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2012)|
|Founded||July 1, 1999(start of commercial operation)|
|Key people||Mladen Pejković (CEO)
Bernd Schmutterer (CFO)
Mario Cvitković (CMO)
|Services||GSM, GPRS, MMS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, LTE|
Vipnet is the first private mobile network operator in Croatia, a part of the Telekom Austria Group and a strategic partner of Vodafone, the leading mobile operator. Vipnet has been operating a GSM network since 1 July 1999 and introduced many new services unknown before in Croatia - prepaid, MMS roaming and others.
In August 2011, Vipnet acquired B.net, the largest Croatian cable operator that offers fixed telephony, broadband Internet access and television services such as cable television and satellite television. This acquisition was the biggest takeover within the Croatian telecom market.
Vipnet is the first and only operator that has made available, in all areas of Croatia, the complete 5-play service, which includes Vip TV, mobile and fixed telephony, as well as mobile and fixed Internet.
In November 2012 the number of mobile network customers amounted slightly over 2 million, and the number of households using Vipnet’s fixed communication and TV services grew for 19.6 percent more compared to 2011.
Granted the concession for the second GSM network in Croatia in September 1998, Vipnet started its commercial operations on July 1, 1999. Because of the profound impact it had on the Croatian telecommunications market, Vipnet is also known for having the best market entrance as a second GSM operator in Europe ever. In 1999, Vipnet was the first on the Croatian market to offer its customers Vipme prepaid, with no subscription fee and a year later Vipnet introduced the first mobile payment service in Croatia – Vip parking, which was later used and introduced by other global operators. Also, in 2002, Vipnet was among the first to launch MMS roaming. As a part of Telekom Austria Group and because of TAG's partnership agreement with Vodafone, Vipnet was the first in Croatia to present a new business communications solution – Vodafone Blackberry, in 2004.
Later on, in 2006, Vipnet offered an alternative to fixed telephony line with the Vodafone Homebox to its private customers, small and medium enterprises and in February 2008 Vipnet introduced the first prepaid fixed line in Croatia– Vipme Homebox.
Vipnet was the first in Croatia to introduce technologies such as GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA. In March 2007 it was the first in Europe to demonstrate mobile Internet access via its HSDPA 7.2 network and in February 2009 was among the first in the world to successfully test the latest technology for mobile broadband – HSPA+.
At the end of 2008, Vipnet had 2.5 million customers, up 14.1% compared to end of 2007. Its market share is 42.2%, down from 43% share at the end of 2007. As of May 2012[update], it had 1.964 million customers.
Recent years (2010-2013)
In 2010 Vipnet introduced ADSL and in the same year presented Dual Carrier HSDPA technology. The same year Vipnet developed a range of services based on cloud computing such as Vip auto nadzor (Vip car surveillance), Vip nadzor radnog vremena (Vip business hours surveillance), Vip nadzor prodaje (Vip sales surveillance) and Vip nadzor brodova (Vip ship surveillance). With these services customers achieve significant savings, because they do not have to invest in expensive technology or have their own IT infrastructure. In March 2011, Vipnet was the first in Croatia to test LTE technology at 800 MHz as the best solution for covering Croatia with the most advanced wireless broadband. In August 2011, Vipnet ensured its position as a leading market innovator as it acquired B.net, the largest Croatian cable operator. Total value of this acquisition was EUR 93 million which is why this represents the biggest takeover within the Croatian telecom market so far.
At the beginning of 2012, Vipnet was the first on the market to offer a comprehensive communications solution in the commercial offer of combi packages for fixed and mobile services. In March 2012, Vipnet and Ericsson Nikola Tesla launched the first commercial LTE network in Croatia. Following the April 2012 and the introduction of a high quality digital television VipTV, in October 2012 Vipnet became the first and only operator that has made available, in all areas of Croatia, the complete 5-play service, which includes Vip TV, mobile and fixed telephony, as well as mobile and fixed Internet – and all on one bill. Also, in May 2012 Vipnet was first to set a world record in data transmission on the fixed network with speeds of up to 4.3 Gbit/s which is 1000 times greater than the average in Croatian households.
Vipnet finished the year 2012 presenting its new technological and business complex in Žitnjak. The complex was worth 50 million HRK, it is energy self-sufficient and also contains one of the largest data center in the region. Today Vipnet is still best known for its mobile network. It is a 900 MHz GSM, 2100 MHz 3G (WCDMA), 1800 and 2600 MHz 4G (LTE) network which supports GPRS, MMS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA and LTE technologies. Vipnet introduced a number of these technologies to the Croatian market first and remain a technological leader in the field.
In March 2013, Vipnet introduced a significant turnaround in its business operations, which is contained within its new slogan "Embrace Life". Behind the new slogan stand the highest values of its business philosophy and offers within the Vipnet portfolio, which are based on honesty, sincerity, forward thinking, simplicity and quality. With a desire to be the customers first choice in communication, in which they no longer have to worry about unexpected high costs, Vipnet has also introduced an entirely new concept of subscriber tariffs named Step, Swing and Tango, which are available to customers with no contract and no call setup fee. In addition to these three tariffs, Vipnet also introduced five new options which offer the possibility of unlimited national communication, mobile devices at lower prices, and for the first time in Croatia the possibility of unlimited communication with all EU countries. With its new "Embrace Life" concept, Vipnet has turned to the needs of users in everyday situations, while focusing on providing the highest quality of service and peace of mind by providing users with carefree communication.
Afterwards, Vipnet acquired 100 percent ownership of Digi satelitska televizija d.o.o. Digi TV Croatia is one of the top providers of digital television services on the Croatian market, which began operating in November 2006. and provides exclusively satellite television service using Direct to Home (DTH) technology. With this acquisition Vipnet reinforces the preconditions of convergent communications and TV services, and this is the final step in Vipnet`s transformation process into a company that offers complete communication solutions and superior Multi - Screen user experience. By integrating Digi TV Croatia into Vipnet, satellite television will become a standard part of the service offering under the Vip brand.
Awards and acknowledgments
At the Global Telecom Business Awards event in June 2011 in London, Vipnet won the award for innovative customer service for its Vip nadzor brodova (Vip ship surveillance). Vipnet as environmental leader in the telecom sector has been developing environmentally friendly network power systems, which proved useful in remote and inaccessible locations. As a result, during 2012 Vipnet and its partner Končar won two global prestigious awards for their autonomous power supply system for hybrid base stations, known by the commercial name KONČAR Hybrid Box. The first prize was won at Global Telecom Business Awards 2012 in „Wireless Network Structure“ category, and the second one was at the World Communication Award 2012 in „The Green Award“ category.
In September 2012, thanks to the opinion of the business community, as well as customers, Vipnet was proclaimed winner in the Best value for money and Best mobile operator for business customers, companies and organizations categories in the Business Best Buy Award survey. Among the strong competition of all domestic and foreign companies from the entire business sector, Vipnet has been recognized as the absolute symbol for the best value for money in Croatia.
- "Uprava" (in Croatian). Vipnet. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Zaposlenici" (in Croatian). Vipnet. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Profil Vipneta" (in Croatian). Vipnet. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Vip Has 2.5 Million Customers" (Press release). Vipnet. January 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- "Novi igrač na tržištu: H1 postaje i mobilni operator!". Večernji list (in Croatian). 27 May 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Vipnet, "Vipnet acquired satellite television provider Digi TV", Vipnet