Social and Charitable Projects
As a company focused on social responsibility, PJSC Rostelecom prioritises various projects and initiatives that have significant social impact. The Company maintains close cooperation with several non-commercial organisations.
PJSC Rostelecom is contributing to digital transformation of Downside Up Charity
The Company is carrying out a distance learning project for carers and parents of children with Down’s syndrome. The project is part of the charity’s three-year web-based services development programme intended to expand the charity’s target audience and improve the effectiveness of its services. The key objective is to propagate and develop the technologies enabling a family-focused approach to supporting children with Down’s syndrome.
Rostelecom is implementing RT.Health, a large-scale project, in two areas:
- The Regional Medical Information System (RMIS) project launched in 2011 and comprising over 40 different modules for automating key business processes for the healthcare sector. Alongside basic modules (out-patient clinic, registration office, electronic health records, etc.), the system features specifically targeted ones. RMIS is functioning across 18 regions and is used by over 1,500 healthcare centres. RMIS enables automation of key processes for healthcare institutions and information exchange between regional and nationwide data sources for diagnostics and treatment. The system improves the quality and accessibility of public healthcare services, accelerates the decision-making process for doctors and healthcare administrators, and brings many other benefits
- The Central Archive of Medical Images (CAMI) Teleradiology project. The system automates diagnostic and radiological departments in healthcare centres. CAMI is a cloud storage for diagnostic materials that provides remote access to the data within a unified data and diagnostic environment, which enables healthcare professionals to request and provide remote advising on acute and complicated illnesses, improves the quality of diagnostic services and brings many other benefits
Rostelecom traces its roots to the time when the first landline phones appeared in Russia and to this day remains the country’s largest fixed-line operator. Millions of families and businesses in Russia still use landline phones in their homes and offices. Rostelecom’s total fixed-line subscriber base in 2018 was at 17.4 million while revenue in the segment totalled RUB 16.9 billion.
There are several reasons why people continue using landline phones. The main reason is that fixed-line telephony remains the cheapest option for those who make lengthy calls and thus is preferred by subscribers who love talking. A landline phone needs no charging and is unaffected by power outages. Many people feel that landline phone is a more reliable way of contacting emergency services. It is also a handy device for those who wish to check whether their children or childminder are home. Moreover, irregularities in radio wave propagation may cause mobile services to be unavailable in some areas, even in cities (e.g., in valleys, ravines, on lower floors, or in underground premises) and a landline phone is the only viable and reliable communication device in such places, which also emits no radio waves. Finally, some mobile phone users keep their landline phone at home so that they may dial their own mobile number and locate the misplaced handheld device. Quite a few subscribers tell that this is the very reason they keep their landline.
Voice service is also gradually migrating to new digital formats, such as SIP telephony or Virtual PBX for corporate customers.
Services for the Great Patriotic War (WWII) veterans
Rostelecom has a long tradition of supporting the veterans of the Great Patriotic War (WWII). To celebrate the Victory Day, the Company enables the Great Patriotic War veterans and disabled ex-servicemen to make free calls to their fellow servicemen, families, and loved ones within Russia and the CIS. In April and May 2018, all Rostelecom subscribers who were in service during the Great Patriotic War were granted 100 free minutes per month for intra-zone, long-distance, and international (within the CIS) calls and an unlimited cable message allowance. Veterans of the Great Patriotic War were able to contact their fellow servicemen and family from their home landline phones, Russian Post public long-distance telephones, Russian Post offices and telegraph outlets. Moreover, on 28 April, Rostelecom arranged video conference calls for the Great Patriotic War veterans residing in the Southern and North Caucasian federal districts. Honourable guests were able to face one another as they communicated; they were recalling the years of their youth immersed in military action, greeting one another on the Victory Day and sharing their plans for the future. This was the eighth time that the Company arranged video conference calls for the Great Patriotic War veterans.
When carrying out data transmission, processing, or storage, Rostelecom ensures information security by using Russia-made solutions (including in-house ones). Rostelecom is Russia’s largest provider of B2B and B2G cyber security services; the Company’s products and services are used by most public institutions in the country and by 30% of businesses on Russia’s Top 100 list. The Company continuously monitors and responds to information security incidents, provides services to protect clients against cyber threats and ensures integrity, sustainability, and safety in the operation of Russia’s segment of the internet.
Technological advancement brings new kinds of threats: viruses, malware, identity theft, DDoS attacks, etc. This is why the Company endeavours to make digital technology not merely accessible but also safe for the government, businesses, individuals. Countering cyber threats and building up information security competencies for all customer segments are a vital part of the digital operator’s development strategy.
Rostelecom is expanding the ecosystem of digital services for households by enabling its customers to use top vendors’ reliable antivirus software for a monthly fee. The 2018 antivirus software sales revenue was up 2.4 times year-on-year.
Rostelecom’s Interactive TV product features the Parental Control service, whereby inappropriate TV and video content may be restricted by enabling age rating filters.
In May 2018, Rostelecom’s officials attended a parents’ forum held in Penza and spoke about various ways of protecting children against inappropriate content on the internet. The forum guests learned about Rostelecom’s Parental Control features and reliable solutions that help keep children safe online. A discussion on the topic of information security was held. Parental Control is a specialised client software. Once installed on user (parent’s and child’s) devices, it protects the child’s online privacy and tracks the child’s location and phone battery level.
In the autumn 2018, Rostelecom launched a series of workshops for parents in Kostroma, named Children and the Web. The digital operator’s employees told the parents about various threats faced by their children while surfing the web and various services intended to protect under-age users’ privacy not only as they access the internet but also as they watch TV. Rostelecom also took part in the regular nationwide Unified Online Safety Lesson. This year, the event was attended by students from Vladimir Polytechnic College. The event’s topic was how to counter online threats, such as phishing, spam, and trolling.
Rostelecom also held a series of workshops for parents in furtherance of its Media Safety project. The meetings were held during the 2017–2018 school year in various educational and public institutions of the Kostroma Region. Over that period, Rostelecom’s employees trained over 1,000 parents to protect their children against inappropriate information as they access the internet and watch TV. The Media Safety programme aims to foster online safety culture among general public.
In December, Rostelecom conducted online safety lessons for the fourth-grade children in Novosibirsk. The students learned basic rules that help avoiding online threats and spending time on the internet productively. Almost 60 children attended the interactive lesson. In the summer 2018, Rostelecom launched a series of open online safety lessons in children’s summer camps across the Kostroma Region.
Rostelecom also provides information security solutions for businesses.
Smart Home and cloud-based video surveillance
Safety of one’s family is one of the most fundamental needs of every human being and often the cause of their stress. Rostelecom offers a convenient turnkey solution for home video surveillance. With this service, one may always check whether their child has returned from school and is doing their homework, whether the senior family members feel well, whether the repairs service team is working at the property, and also watch their pets.
Rostelecom’s Video Surveillance is a cloud-based service developed entirely in-house and featuring smart controls and reliable protection of the user’s sensitive data. Rostelecom’s solution uses data encryption across the entire transmission path from the camera to the Company’s data centres.
To begin using the service, a user has to buy a Rostelecom-branded IP camera kit (HD of Full HD); all cameras are wide-angle, support infrared illumination at night and feature sound and motion sensors. The cameras have push-to-talk capability to transmit voice messages enabling the user to contact their loved ones who are at home but, for instance, have disabled their mobile phone ringer.
Rostelecom offers both indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras; the latter help keep watch over one’s courtyard, garden, car park, or any other grounds. Camera installation, activation, and image settings selection are simple enough to be done by the customers.
Configuring the service is a straightforward process requiring a mobile app or an Online Customer Account. A user may add several indoor and outdoor Rostelecom cameras installed in different regions of the country to their Online Customer Account. A cloud-based video data storage and processing platform enables one to retain an archive copy of their CCTV video for the last 7 to 30 days. The cameras switch to video recording mode automatically when triggered by motion sensors or when their field of view is obstructed. Customers may also start the video transmission by clicking on a hyperlink. If a camera’s internet connection fails, video is saved on an SD card and may be accessed later.
At present, the Company also offers three versions of Smart Home OTT kits:
- Extended Safety (a controller plus door/window sensors, 3-in-1 motion sensors, smoke and water leak detectors)
- Basic Safety (a controller plus door/window sensors and 3-in-1 motion sensors)
- Smart Home Management (a controller plus door/window sensors, 3-in-1 motion sensors, smart socket, and smart lamp)
The basic Smart Home kit (a controller plus a minimum set of sensors) may be expanded by adding more devices. Our solution is based on the Z‑Wave wireless communication protocol which helps quickly integrate any sensor into an existing system.
The Smart Home platform is a cloud storage that retains all settings and parameters for the controller and Z‑Wave devices (sensors, detectors, and other connectible devices) installed at each customer’s premises. The heart of each system is a controller that coordinates the operation of all devices, executes various response scenarios, and governs the interaction between different parts of the system.
The controller maintains a continuous link with the platform and transmits to it the current status of the customer’s devices (whether or not the motion sensors, door/window sensors, water leak or smoke detectors have been activated; smart socket and smart lighting status). Customers may configure the system via a mobile app or an Online Customer Account. In either case, all information about the customer’s devices, operation modes, and events will be available.
Higher quality of services
Maintaining adequate customer service is one the Company’s key objectives. To this end, we use all channels of communication. One of the main channels is Rostelecom’s Call Centre which may be accessed at website. The centre operates a 24-hour hotline where customer support professionals respond to customer calls, provide advice on the Company’s services and tariff plans, handle complaints and orders, and assist customers who wish to speak to a sales manager and subscribe to Rostelecom’s services. In total, Rostelecom’s Call Centre operators answer over 4 million calls per month.
The Company invests substantial efforts to provide training to the operators and line managers. Thus, in 2018, Rostelecom’s call centres’ employees went through Client League, a customer focus training programme. In September 2018, Rostelecom Retail Systems, a PJSC Rostelecom’s subsidiary, won the Consumer Rights and Service Quality annual award in the Communications and Telecoms category. Within the nine years this annual award has been held, Rostelecom Retail Systems received it three times.
Rostelecom retail network runs a full-scale employee performance evaluation system. It uses mystery shoppers, a classic method for assessing customer service quality. However, this approach does have some weak points: high cost and lack of customer feedback. Moreover, the findings it renders are often depersonalised. This is why Rostelecom Retail Systems decided to consolidate and automate the best available practices of customer service quality control and to add analytical and educational capabilities to the system.
Rostelecom retail network has switched to an automated quality control system that comprises three modules. The first module is a toolbox that measures brand loyalty and customer satisfaction and creates a feedback channel. The second module comprises assessment of employee competency and qualification and provides additional professional training when necessary. The third module generates reports of various detail and provides analysis of massive amounts of data.
The workplace of every employee who interacts with customers is monitored. The system records all conversations with the customers. Some of the conversations are subsequently audited by the quality control function. Any customer may evaluate the Company’s or a specific employee’s performance.
Rostelecom’s Call Centre offers business clients a smart toll-free phone service with the 800 code so that all calls made to the client’s office from anywhere in Russia and from any telecoms operator’s network are free for the caller.
By using the Online Customer Account, Rostelecom’s customers may configure their services and services for their families at any time, straight from their home or office or while travelling.
The Online Customer Account allows to configure tariff plans and options, subscribe to new services, check account balance, transfer money between accounts, and pay bills instantly with a debit or credit card at no extra fee.
The Company creates new capabilities for small and medium-size enterprises and offers digital solutions to facilitate their development. In the early 2018, Rostelecom launched «Byt v plyuse» («Plus Account») bundle for SMEs. This was the first time Rostelecom’s digital and traditional services were offered in one bundle under one account. In particular, the Company started offering Virtual PBX service to SME customers. Virtual PBX contains a comprehensive bundle of communications services and office telephony. The customer may use a single external phone number and configure extension numbers and many other options. The service enables businesses to process more calls and acquire more clients. In 2018, Rostelecom launched the service in another 80 cities bringing its coverage to over 350 cities across Russia. In 2018, Rostelecom’s Virtual PBX subscriber base was at 60 thousand. The «Byt v plyuse» («Plus Account») bundle also features Freephone 2.0, a new digital service. In 2018, over 800 customers were using it.
In March 2018, Rostelecom launched Rostelecom.Screens, a new service for corporate customers, enabling remote visual content marketing via video walls which can be integrated into a single network and used to promote services.
PJSC Rostelecom is implementing a business development programme for the promising SaaS products. The Company cooperates with various businesses which offer original and promising products and assists them in scaling up their presence across Russia and increasing their sales. All operational issues are handled by Rostelecom.
We have been actively developing cloud-based video surveillance and analytics. The service enables subscribers to build a capex-free intelligent video surveillance system to ensure security and improve their business performance. In 2018, Rostelecom became a leader in the B2B cloud-based video surveillance segment with 25 thousand connected IP cameras across more than 10 thousand organisations in all Russian regions.
In 2018, we greatly improved the accessibility of our Virtual Data Centre service. Virtual Data Centre enables Rostelecom’s corporate clients to rent computing capacities of Rostelecom’s National Cloud Platform and host their information systems therein. The service allows creating virtual workstations with any operating system and configuration and keeping them protected against DDoS attacks and viruses, thus reducing hardware maintenance costs.
Making digital services available to families is one of the Company’s strategic priorities. Rostelecom offers a wide range of services and products, building a digital environment around every family. Our digital services in entertainment, education, healthcare, data storage, management, and security bring value to customers and are essential for today’s consumers.
Rostelecom is further expanding its presence in the global markets and deploying advanced technology. We always endeavour to meet the highest standards and create high-quality, reliable and yet affordable, easy-to-use, and convenient products and services. We remain a reliable partner for the government in the implementation of federal and many other programmes for the benefit of all residents of Russia.