Bloomberg News

Golden Telecom to Build Ukraine Mobile, Fixed Network

October 05, 2006

Golden Telecom Inc., a phone and Web services provider in the former Soviet Union, began constructing a network in Ukraine that can handle both fixed and wireless calls to offer more services at a lower price to customers.

Golden Telecom will build the so-called fixed mobile convergence network in Ukraine and will offer services such as broadband and television in the first quarter of next year, the company said today in a statement.

The Moscow-based company will have constructed the core of the new network in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and wireless parts of the system in both Kiev and Odessa by the end of the year. Another wireless part will be deployed in Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Ivano-Frankovsk by year-end.

The company plans to start offering services using the new network in 22 regions in Ukraine, a country with a population of 47 million people, in 2007, the statement said.

Golden Telecom offers voice, data and Internet services to corporations, operators and consumers in major cities of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan via leased channels and intercity fiber-optic and satellite-based networks.

Alcatel SA will supply network-management and switching software for the network, as well as database equipment, the French company said in an e-mailed statement today. China's Huawei Technologies Co. will supply hardware.

The company is 20 percent owned by Norway's Telenor ASA (TEL), while Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group owns 29 percent. OAO Rostelecom, Russia's biggest long-distance phone provider, held 11 percent as of March 31.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said today it reduced its stake in Golden Telecom to 4.2 percent from 8.4 percent. The bank sold 1.5 million shares to institutional investors in an offering via Merrill Lynch, it said in an e- mailed statement today. The bank didn't provide financial details of the sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Moscow at lpronina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Klemming at lklemming@bloomberg.net


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