EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Failing to monetise network growth and struggles with consumer engagement were key factors in VimpelCom’s decision to rebrand to Veon and transition into a digital technology company, CEO Jean Yves Charlier (pictured) said.

In an interview with Mobile World Live TV, Charlier opened up on the rationale behind the company’s decision – announced at Mobile World Congress last week – to rebrand to Veon.

Charlier said the firm wanted to send out a message the internet platform was core to its long-term strategy, and not just a bolt on, while explaining that providing “great connectivity” was simply not enough in the current climate.

“We are doing two things. We think we have to be a great telecoms business providing connectivity, but we also think we have got to do much more than that, and that’s what we are focussed on,” he said. “We want to bring a new digital model to the industry, not just a bricks and mortar model.”

In the interview, Charlier opened up on some of the deals the company has already struck as part of its new direction, as well as its longer-term goals in the digital space.

Click here to see the full interview.