VimpelCom announces countrywide 4G/LTE network sharing agreement in Kazakhstan as it progresses its asset-light strategy
Aug 31, 2016
Amsterdam (31 August 2016) – VimpelCom Ltd. (“VimpelCom” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: VIP), a leading global provider of telecommunications and digital services headquartered in Amsterdam and serving over 200 million customers, today announces that Beeline Kazakhstan (“Beeline”)* and Kcell Joint Stock Company ("Kcell”) (LSE, KASE: KCEL), have entered into a network sharing agreement for the joint deployment of 4G/LTE services in Kazakhstan, marking a significant step in VimpelCom’s asset-light strategy.
Yogesh Malik, Group Chief Technology Officer, VimpelCom, said: “Becoming asset-light is key to our strategy to transform our Group-wide network into one that meets our needs as a digital operator of the future. Central to our network consolidation strategy is finding like-minded partners to work with. The countrywide agreement with Kcell is the latest in a series of network sharing milestones that will further enable VimpelCom to deliver new digital services and improved network quality to bring us closer to our customers.”
The agreement between Beeline Kazakhstan and Kcell aims to incorporate all 4G/LTE ready sites (in terms of location, transmission capacity and the infrastructure environment of each city) into the newly-shared network, providing customers with superior 4G/LTE coverage and service quality. The network-sharing agreement aims to benefit customers without restricting competition between the two companies.
The two mobile network operators will undertake joint planning of the combined network in order to generate greater cost efficiencies and a significantly accelerated roll-out of 4G/LTE across the country. The shared network will be managed by combined teams from Kcell and Beeline Kazakhstan.
Alexander Komarov, CEO of Beeline Kazakhstan said: “Beeline and Kcell will bring fourth-generation network infrastructure to millions of customers in Kazakhstan. This partnership is a key step in Beeline’s transformation into an agile, digital operator that will help its customers navigate the new digital world.”
The first phase is expected to be launched across 13 cities in September 2016: Almaty, Shymkent, Atyrau, Aktau, Astana, Karaganda, Zhezkazgan, Satpaev, Kostanay, Borovoe, Pavlodar, Semey, and Oskemen. The joint network is expected to cover over 30 percent of the country’s population by the end of 2016.
'* Kar-Tel LLP, operates under the Beeline Kazakhstan brand