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Srbija 2020

Thank you for welcoming me!

Thank you everyone for welcoming me to the B92 blog! 

I don't think about my blog as a contest as to whether or not I can win your confidence but more as a forum to share new business models and destructive services that "everyone" should be using or developing against.  So please don't "wait" for anything!  

For example, today I was interviewed by "Telecom Reporter" magazine for my opinion on BT's (British Telecom) new Web Services strategies.   Now this is an "oxy-moron" meaning that BT and any other large national Telco can never have a true Web Services strategy.  By definition, a web services strategy necessitates that the customer information and other data that can be assigned to someone or something, be available for others (you, me, developers) to access and build new services on top of.

If any Telco did this, what difference would their business model be to another IT startup?  Why would they stop their over 150 year old business model of over-charging for voice calls when its going to be profitable for another 20 years or so.  It isn't going to happen.

Don't believe the hype that technology will solve everything! 

Telekom Serbia is in an unique position in which it is building out its DSL service but like BT (in the UK) they will probably not let any other competitor rent that DSL line to your home, hence, no competition which means those additional 20 years of over charging for voice calls, well add a couple more years for DSL too.

There are ways around this, and other actions by your ISP but "you" have to initiate it. Don't wait for anyone.  I'll share my ideas with you and in return let me know what you think and please share your ideas with the community as well so we can all prosper.

But, please don't wait...

The Purpose of the Antimonopoly Commission!

I know that until one year ago the only decision of the Antimonopoly commission was that Telekom has Monopoly over the voice communications. Absurd? Antimonopoly commission protecting monopoly? These kind of things exist only in Serbia.


No, these things exists in other countries as well but they are better hidden by governments and official agencies.

In the US, Congress exists to protect and uphold American's rights but they passed the "Patriot Act" dissolving Americans of their privacy as human beings after the 911 tragedy.

In Norway, the government favors competition for all Telecommunication companies but does not sell any additional mobile licenses thereby allowing Telenor (national telecommunication operator) to continue its dominant market share in mobile.

Every country, if researched well enough, will have these unfair practices within their cultures and economies. Serbians should feel upset but not alone.

Economic nationalism

Actually, this what you describe is called economic nationalism and it is applied by every country in strategic industrial sectors (telecoms, transport, natural resources, agriculture) and to protect infant or less competitive industries, before they can stand on their own two feet.

As long as the international system operates the way it does, states will try to protect those parts of the economy that are crucial to their self-sustainability at times of conflict or international crises.

Liberal economy as envisioned by the early liberal idea has never truly come into practice and will not as long as nation-states are the building blocks of international society, which they will remain for a long time to come.

State monopolies are OK in some areas, as long as an adequate portion of the profits is invested in upgrading services and are used to improve the economy, infrastructure and life standards in general through budgetary allocation.

It is corrupt authorities that embezzle these funds on one hand, and cronism between private monopoly holders and state officials that are the real problem.

A good reader for this is Nationalism and International Relations (Mayall), Chapter 5 available at the British Council in Belgrade

There is also a good CAFOD report on how the advanced economies did not practice what they are preaching to developing nations today when they were at the same stage of development. Forgot the title...


Much time will pass until a significant majority in this country starts worrying about issues like this. With no intention of offending rural areas, the awareness about this and similar issues will be restricted to urban areas (and even there only to technically savvy segments of the society) for some years to come. The conditions for people to begin contemplating these issues are met only when more basic needs have been fulfilled (political stability, visible economic recovery). Instabillity allows individuals and smaller interest groups to act according to their personal interests rather than to those of the society at large. Some of us may be aware of this and we should try and alert others of this and similar issues but our calls for change will remain unanswered at least for the time being. My real fear is that people may have become complacent and content with mediocrity in service sector to the point of not caring anymore... If I'm correct, this is a very dangerous state of affairs...

This might be stupid, but if

This might be stupid, but if they overcharge for calls and Broadband access, why don't we, as a public, reply with sharing our resources? For example, setting up wireless network is easy. Neighbors in the same building can share the cost.


I'd do it, absolutely no problem. I do, however, feel as though it would takequite a bit of convincing people that it would a) work and b) to get wireless adapters...

The challenges are also that

The challenges are also that even if everyone is connected by wireless, the wireless ISP must purchase bandwidth from Telekom Serbia which is about 450 Euro per MB. This is some of the most expensive bandwidth in the world!

If usage was only for web surfing and email, then a few MB would be good enough.

I will blog in a few days what Serbian developers can do to take advantage of this opportunity to create a new market for Serbian developers.

This is very exciting and with fame comes opportunity. Serbia shall have its chance to shine VERY soon!

I think he meant (and may he

I think he meant (and may he correct me if I'm wrong) to say that an entire apartment building could share the cost by having one of the tenants open a personal account with Telekom, then set up his/her home network and have all the other nodes/PCs in the building connect to the 'Net through the one connection.

I may be wrong (I'm no expert) but every decent provider has a limit on the amount of computers they allow in a network. Additionally, they're bound to catch you within a week as they can monitor the activity of each of their accounts. When they see the amount of bandwidth used, there will be red flags galore. Furthermore, they can limit the bandwidth itself, not just the # of computers in a network.

They will allocate you a certain amount per month; what I spend in a month, a building with 5 PCs/users might spend in less than a week. Not to mention that the connection speed will suffer greatly if you add additional machines to the network.

Before I forget, is there a provider in Serbia that offers UNLIMITED access? When I was in Canada, I had a DSL connection with unlimited access and I was being charged $29.95/mo. (That's about 20€). I then switched to cable and was paying $10 more per month.

Seems to me the European users are being taken for quite a ride when it comes to the internet and cell phone bills.