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Digital Transformation in Russia/s Telecommunication Sector

Student: Elvira Berkheeva

Supervisor: Thomas Thurner

Faculty: Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge

Educational Programme: Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2019

This study examines the digitalization of the Russian telecommunications sector in comparison with a major international operator. The speed of digital technologies adoption is so high that new technologies disrupt almost all aspects of personal lives. Customers create new ‘digital’ demand and raise their user experience expectations. The telecommunication sector ranks among the leading industries in enabling the shift towards digitalization of the economy as they provide the required infrastructure on which digital offerings and content will build on. As such, the telecom’s experience in digitalization provides an excellent study field to extract valuable case studies for many other economic sectors that will experience digitalization at a later stage. That explains the practical importance of the conducted research. The present paper provides a detailed research of the journey of the Russian telecommunication sector’s digital transformation through studying the main enablers, trends of sector’s development and toolkits that telecommunication companies use to succeed in their digitalization. Firstly, the study provides an in-depth review of the literature on digital transformation’s definitions, an overview of dominant patterns of technologies development and digital transformation, and the role of telecommunication sector in digitalization with theoretical underpinnings and case studies. Secondly, the research determines peculiarities of Russian telecommunication market development. The paper provides a history of Russian telecommunication development as well as overview of their current strategies. Thirdly, the paper determines and compares the level Russian operators’ digitalization to a major international operator in the number of key directions. As a result, possible statements of digitalization for every included company are examined and determined in accordance with experts’ opinion, official press releases, and companies’ strategies.

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