Digital Nomads

Preparing for Digital Nomads: Croatia Telecom (HT) Nikolina Pejovic Interview

By 10 June 2021

June 10, 2021 - Great Internet is a prerequisite for remote work. An interview with Croatia Telecom (Hrvatski Telekom)'s Proposition Management Expert, Nikolina Pejovic, on the quality of the Internet in Croatia, and what her company is doing to support the digital nomad initiative.

1. The digital nomad revolution is here, and there is quite a buzz about Croatia as one of the top nomad hotspots. Let's look at one of the most important requirements for potential remote works - connectivity and speed. How good is the Internet in Croatia?

Yes, it's a popular topic nowadays, I think the whole corona situation made all of us really aware of how everything can be subject to a fundamental change. This has made a lot of people open to new ways of living and working. When it comes to tourism which accounts for some 20% of Croatian GDP, it is of course essential to make the most of the opportunities we have, building on the traditional ways and appeals Croatia has, with digital nomadism being a powerful platform.

In terms of connectivity Croatian Telekom is the leading network in Croatia, confirmed by not one, but three independent international pieces of research, and not only that but were named one of the 10 fastest mobile networks in the whole world, so the nomads coming to Croatia are covered. You can do your work worry-free from Croatia and we take care of the rest. Especially as we have implemented the first commercial 5G network in Croatia ensuring better coverage, speeds, and user experience through it, and we are fully committed to improving it even further which definitely benefits digital nomads that coming to Croatia.

2. Internet speeds vary across the country. Where are the quickest destinations, and where can people find online information about Internet speed if they are considering spending time at a particular location? 

There is a really cool tool called the coverage map on Hrvatski Telekom web page, and you can check the coverage in the whole country, and also specifically per location. We are constantly working on better network capacity, although we are already the leading network. We are well aware that the quality infrastructure is the foundation for great customer experience, and it is one of our priorities.

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3. How will Hrvatski Telekom be developing its coverage and service over the next 5 years? What are the key strategic milestones for HT?

The past year has made it clear how vital the ICT industry and investments in digital infrastructure and digitalization are to all aspects of our lives, society, and economy. Hrvatski Telekom has been leading Croatia’s digital transformation through continuous investments in network infrastructure and innovative services, ensuring technology and digitization development will continue being our priority. Next to the investments in technology, our second focus area will continue to be our customers and not only meeting but exceeding their expectations.

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(Nikolina at the Digital Nomads-in-Residence Program, with Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, and DNA co-founder, Jan de Jong)

4. HT was one of the first private companies to support the Digital Nomad Association and this new initiative to welcome digital nomads to Croatia. Tell us a little about that?

Yes, we really feel that our mission is to improve the quality and digitalise the life of our citizens, we are calling it a world of better opportunities. In a world where almost every business is digital, digitalization is a prerequisite of progress, be it the community, economic improvement, business development, and a better quality of life.

When it comes to the DN initiative we recognized it from the beginning as a big thing for the whole society and also as a concept that fits perfectly well with our mission of connecting everyone in the country with the opportunities of digitalization. Because with a laptop, tablet or a smartphone and a reliable internet connection we are in position to help redefine not only the way we work, but also where one can work, and then Croatia is an excellent choice.

We are interested in supporting programs that really create value, and that is why we recognised and support the work of DNA and wanted to help to make the Nomads feel welcome, and we went even further by creating a product that DN can and will use while living here.

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5. As part of that support, you provided a specific digital nomad product to the 10 Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence, which is also publicly available. Tell us about that product, and what feedback did you get?

I really loved working with my team on this product, actually we very quickly realised that all a remote worker wants is a really easy-to-use solution that works everywhere they go. They said that prepaid is the best thing for them, because it can be paid (topped up) upfront. We really wanted to find out what DN think of our product and is it as good as we thought.

I had the opportunity to meet these interesting young people, and the feedback was really positive. They liked the product and had great coverage everywhere they went, and they were travelling quite a lot with the Nomads-in-Residence program. Our ‘Unlimited’ offer is an easy to use flat prepaid solution, with weekly flat options, that just by topping up your account automatically gets reactivated. We have a web page dedicated to the product, where you can order the product or additional hardware, like for example a router if you are in need of one.

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6. How do you see HT's future role in developing this sector of the Croatian economy?

Bringing tech-savvy, dominantly high-skilled, knowledgeable people to Croatia could prove to be a valuable source of capital inflow for the country’s economy. And since their numbers have been growing over the past years the potential could be great.  The one estimation I saw was that there are 4.8 million people in the world who have in some way opted for a digital-nomadic lifestyle, with as many as 17 million people aspiring to it. Having in mind the characteristics of such a lifestyle, mobility, flexibility, creating your own schedule, and choosing the location of work, Hrvatski Telekom wants to provide digital nomads with a fast and stable internet connection at any time and in any place, which is crucial for their ability to work from any location across Croatia.

7. And finally, your impressions of the Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence program?

It was very well-organized, I want to congratulate the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads, Jan, and you Paul as initiators and organizers of this project. I think working in that little paradise part of Croatia is something that appeals to a lot of people around the world. I am from Dalmatia although I have been living in Zagreb for quite a while now, and every time I have this little escape from the capital to Dalmatia, I realize how unreal it is and how interesting it surely would be for young people to come and enjoy it. It is our task to make them aware of this being a real option.. Also, I believe all other parts of our country have a really good potential to offer tourism solutions for this group of people. I enjoyed my 2 days in Dubrovnik, only could wish that it lasted longer...

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8. And finally, finally, will we be seeing you at Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021?

Yes, indeed! After the great energy of Dubrovnik, it is great to see the DN opportunity being featured in Zagreb. I think Zagreb is a fantastic destination for digital nomads, and there is plenty to see and do. Of course Hrvatski Telekom will be involved in Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021. We are happy to support such great initiatives.

About Nikolina Pejovic:

I really got to know our customers and their needs by career-wise growing gradually through the company, starting with my first student jobs in our shops to today being the Proposition Management Expert and creating products for HT. I started working while I was an undergraduate student and keeping to the mantra that you learn every day I’m presently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Zagreb. In my free time, I am interested in improving the education system, which I am helping with as a member of the Board for quality management of education at the University of Zagreb and member of the Community for the promotion of intellectual capital at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 & Digital Nomad Ambassador Project, visit the Saltwater Nomads website.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

 

 

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