Malta’s identity is inextricably linked with Grand Harbour. This natural wonder, coupled with Malta’s position in the middle of the Mediterranean, have made these islands a hub for communication and trade for millennia. Today Malta’s telecommunications infrastructure is a new magnet for trade; foreign direct investment (FDI) is drawn to Malta by our digital connectivity.
I’m proud that telecommunications is one of the areas where Malta excels. Six years ago I arrived in Malta to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer at Melita Limited. Since then, the investments in infrastructure, systems, and human capital have been immense. We have invested around €170 million in infrastructure, making Malta the only country in Europe with a nationwide, fiber powered gigabit internet network and a nationwide 5G mobile network. Our two cables to mainland Europe back up our local network with the reliability that is vital for all of us living and working in Malta. We continue to invest, driving fiber deep in our broadband network, making it ever faster, ever more reliable
One of my top priorities was to make a step-change in our customer care – in those early months I was most likely to be found in our call centre. I launched our customer service promises, covering internet speed, installation and repair times, and customer service satisfaction. Within months we turned around our feedback scores – measured by the international company, Nice Reply – today we consistently score over 9/10 on customer satisfaction. Recent independent local research shows that Melita’s customers are now the happiest when it comes to telecommunications services in Malta.
Building on these local successes, in 2019 we took Melita beyond Malta’s shores, launching melita.io which today has a growing presence in the Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity market across Europe, North America and beyond. IoT can contribute to more efficient use of resources, and greater sustainability, across many industries. For example, an IoT solution for a vineyard can connect hundreds of monitors in the soil, monitoring water and nutrient needs, which the farmer can then check from a standard smartphone, precisely controlling watering and fertilization from far away, saving water, fertilizer and fuel . Today 95 per cent of Melita’s IoT revenues are generated abroad. Applications we serve include metering of electricity, water and heat consumption; asset or vehicle tracking; remote monitoring and management of ATMs and vending machines; electrical vehicle charging; agriculture and more. Our customers include some of the best-known international brands in sectors like automotive and real estate.
Heading a business is more than ensuring customer satisfaction and financial success. In 2019 we created The Melita Foundation with the help of Apax Partners, our former owners. Today, the Melita Foundation, with the ongoing support of our current owners EQT, exists to protect Malta’s heritage and environment whilst developing digital and creative skills. The Melita Foundation Board has received over a hundred applications for funding and today supports dozens of projects, from the very local to those with an impact beyond Malta, such as developing skills in maritime conservation.
I encourage awareness of our sustainability impact in all our business decisions. We have substantially invested to reduce carbon emissions: installing solar panels and intelligent lighting and cooling systems, and designing our networks in the most energy efficient way, particularly through dynamic power optimization in our Ericsson 5G network. In 2020 we started the conversion of Melita’s van fleet to electric vehicles, in 2021 we became carbon neutral. We will continue to reduce our carbon footprint, and have formalized this through joining and validating our targets through the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), a partnership between the UN, the WWF and others that aims to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. by efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C. EQT invested in Melita via its Infrastructure fund in 2019, and has fully supported our sustainability efforts; indeed, sustainability is an integral part of the EQT business model.
The advantages our investments have created for Malta will disappear if we sit on our laurels. I continue to encourage innovation, moving beyond providing fast, reliable and secure connectivity to always being our customers’ preferred partner. By understanding customers’ personal and business ambitions we are well placed to help create economic and social value as our economy’s digital transformation continues.
Melita has already collaborated with companies possessing complementary expertise. For example, last year, with Smart Technologies, we launched the brand Smart Cloud, offering disaster recovery services and local Cloud hosting; services which are essential for regulatory compliance across industries such as financial services and iGaming. Our doors are open to anyone wishing to use connectivity to improve our future. Together we can create an innovation ecosystem to secure Malta as a 21st century communications hub.
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