Estonia's major telco providers say they have been making large investments into cyber security and related areas, off the back of bumper profits earned so far this year.
The three companies operating in the Estonian cellphone market, Telia, Tele2 and Elisa, are all foreign-owned.
Telia Estonia has earned €106 million in Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBDITA) for the first nine months of this year; €33 million of this was ploughed back into networks and services.
Holger Haljand, head of Telia Estonia, told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that: "Our sales revenue increased by five percent, which is the kind of growth need to meet the rising costs we are seeing in the current situation. /.../ Our fastest-growing field is IT services for business customers, and within that, cyber security in particular."
"Right now the most important factors affecting our business are geopolitical and other changes taking place in the environment."
Tele2 reported a €19-million operating profit, a rise of 2 percent on year, and which primarily was reinvested.
Tele 2's CFO Kertu Leppik told ERR that €13 million was invested over a nine-month period, citing the security situation and also recent storms as factos in decisions to back-up infrastructure.
Elisa does not report its Estonian-earned profits as distinct from its overall profit, but the head of Elisa Estonia, Andrus Hiiepuu, did, on a separate but related topic, reject claims that high-speed internet is much more expensive in Estonia than is the case in immediately neighbors.
"When we make comparisons with other countries, we always have to consider whether the corresponding service is offered nationwide at a uniform quality everywhere, or in a narrower zone in urbanized areas. Taking all this into account, I would venture to say that in Estonia, very high-quality internet is offered at very competitive prices," Hiepuu said.
Oliver Gailan, head of the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) concurred with this claim
"Currently, there is no practical problem with the fact that one-gigabit internet is costly, because if we also look at other Baltic countries, its actual usage currently come to less than 1 percent of all consumers," he told AK.
"Going forward, speeds will certainly need to increase, as various applications, virtual realities, which are coming, will need greater and greater internet speeds," Gailan went on.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Mart Linnart.