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VimpelCom's Far Eastern 3G Investments Not Affected by Crisis
|18 декабря 2008|
Russian mobile operator VimpelCom has indicated that its investments in constructing 3G networks in the Far East of the country have totalled 1.5 billion roubles (US$54.6 million), reports Interfax, citing Executive Vice-President for Business Development Jean-Pierre Vandromme.
The operator has rolled out networks, via its affiliates, in Primorye, Buryatia, Yakutia, Magadan, Chukotka and the Jewish autonomous region, with a further network to be launched by its affiliate in the Trans-Baikal territory this week. Vandromme stressed that the company's 3G investment plans in the Far East will not be affected by the financial crisis. VimpelCom has also indicated that it is considering applying for GSM licences in a number of the Far-Eastern regions in which it does not currently operate.
Significance: VimpelCom has previously indicated that it will undertake measures to curtail capital expenditure (capex), such as freezing new capex orders and renegotiating contracts with vendors and suppliers, but it appears that its commitment towards 3G roll-out in Russia will not be hit. The operator aims to have launched services in 20 cities by the end of 2008 and over 80 in 2009. It has previously indicated that investments in 3G roll-outs will total US$350 million in 2008.