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Carl Schneider was born in 1959 and has an MSc in electrical engineering from Chalmers University of Technology. He is one of the three founders of Viking Telecom and has been at the company since it started in 1988.
Growth with increased profitability
The year 2001 was yet another successful year for Viking Telecom. We achieved our long-term aims for growth with increased profitability despite a weakening telecommunications market. Once again we showed how swiftly we can develop a product from concept to finished article, when we produced SMSit only nine months after its conception. We have also launched Link155, our microwave link. We received orders from the Philippines and the US, which means Viking Telecom has taken an important step forward on markets outside Europe.
Focusing on two business areas
During the year we focused operations on our Telecom and Microwave business areas.
In the Telecom business area we currently concentrate on two product areas:
- Telecommunication products with built-in routers plus other products and systems for operators’ new value-added services.
- Products and systems to supply services available in mobile networks across the fixed network.
Viking Telecom became the first company in the world to launch an SMS terminal with a complete alphanumerical keyboard for the fixed telecom network. This gives superior usability compared to the systems on most mobile telephones where one has to press a number of times per key to show the correct character. Because the product is so easy to use we believe that many new customer groups will begin using our SMS service. Most SMS messages are currently sent by people under 25.
Our aim is to be globally established with products and systems. With the launch of our SMS system we have taken a huge step towards becoming a total systems supplier. Through partnership with suppliers of complete systems we will in future be able to supply our customers with complete SMS solutions on the fixed telecom network.
“Viking Telecom became the first company
in the world to launch an SMS terminal
with a complete alphanumerical keyboard
for the fixed telecom network. .”
We will be at the cutting edge of development of products and systems that enable services to be sent over the fixed network that are currently available only on the mobile network. Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a service that has not developed completely for the mobile network. However, with the launch of GPRS, WAP will gain wider use. Viking Telecom will then of course supply WAP over the fixed telecom network. After WAP will come the further development of SMS, such as EMS and MMS, where it is possible to send images and sound messages over the 3G networks. Viking Telecom will make sure that these services are available over the fixed telecom networks, too.
We forecast continued strong sales of our router products for 2002 mainly for cordless telephones. Deregulation of the telecoms market has continued outside Europe and we hope to be able to spread our successful router concept onto these markets.
“Thanks to flexibility and speed we’ll be able to assert
ourselves well in the face of the competition.”
We are convinced that fixed telephony, mainly voice telephony, will be an important service for customers in the future. Fixed connections (fiber, copper and cable TV) will dominate because of the need for bandwidth.
Viking Telecom is well positioned to meet customers’ demands for products and systems for the fixed telecoms network, and thanks to our flexibility and speed we’ll be able to assert ourselves well in the face of the competition.
Viking Telecom launched the first high capacity link (SMT-1) at the CeBIT trade fair and we have successfully carried out the first trial installations with customers. We are proud of this high-tech project carried out by our subsidiary Viking Microwave and we now have a product that stands up to the competition on price as well as functionality.
The Microwave business area has not been responsible for any significant sales success during 2001, but we expect sales to take off during 2002. The business area doesn’t only sell microwave links, but also the communication platforms developed at our Norwegian partners, Axxessit. Viking Telecom has already started selling these in the Nordic countries.
Development work in the business area has been intensive during the year. It is important that during 2002 that we finalise developments of links to be able to supply our customers a portfolio of links, with the most common frequencies.
“To achieve continued growth we have to succeed with our new product areas inside and outside Europe.”
Viking Telecom’s long-term aim is to be globally established and be a leading supplier of access products.
The western European market will once again be the most important in 2002, but to achieve continued growth we have to succeed with our new product areas inside and outside Europe and this is something we continue to work with intensively.
Thanks to our establishing in Hong Kong we currently have considerably improved controls over production and quality. This is important for Viking Telecom’s continued success because future products will be produced in greater quantity in Asia.
I look forward to 2002. With our enthusiastic staff, an even greater focus on marketing and sales, more intensive co-operation with partners in marketing and development, and closer relationships with our customers and suppliers, I am convinced that 2002 will be an exciting year for Viking Telecom.
I would finally like to thank our customers, staff and partners for a successful 2001.
Göteborg 6 February 2001