31 Aug 2016
VimpelCom announces countrywide 4G/LTE network sharing agreement in Kazakhstan as it progresses its asset-light strategy
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
This release contains “forward-looking statements”, as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and include statements relating to, among other things, the benefits and expected results of our network sharing agreement with Kcell. The forward-looking statements included in this release are based on management’s best assessment of the Company’s strategic and financial position and of future market conditions, trends and other potential developments. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. The actual outcome may differ materially from these statements as a result of: continued volatility in the economies in our markets; unforeseen developments from competition; governmental regulation of the telecommunications industries; general political uncertainties in our markets; and government investigations or other regulatory actions and/or litigation with third parties. Certain other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any forward-looking statements include the risk factors described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2015 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other public filings made by the Company with the SEC. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the Company disclaims any obligation to update them or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.
VimpelCom (NASDAQ: VIP) is an international communications and technology company, headquartered in Amsterdam, and driven by a vision to unlock new opportunities for customers as they navigate the digital world. Present in some of the world’s most dynamic markets, VimpelCom provides more than 200 million customers with voice, fixed broadband, data and digital services. VimpelCom’s heritage as a pioneer in technology is the driving force behind a major transformation focused on bringing the digital world to each and every customer. VimpelCom offers services to customers in 14 markets including Russia, Italy, Algeria, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Laos, and Zimbabwe. VimpelCom, whose licenses cover 10% of the world's population, operates under the “Beeline”, “WIND”, “Djezzy”, “Mobilink”, “Kyivstar”, “banglalink” and “Telecel” brands. Follow us on Twitter @VimpelCom, visit blog.vimpelcom.com or visit our website www.vimpelcom.com.