Turkish mobile operator Turkcell has today signed the final part of an agreement with the Ukraine’s Digital Cellular Communication (DCC) to enter into a partnership to roll out GSM mobile services. Under the terms of the contract, Turkcell will purchase DCC shares from System Capital Management and Valeriy Grigorievich Stepanenko for USD50 million to take its holding in the Ukrainian cellco to 51%. Turkcell, which was awarded a GSM licence in Iran in February, is looking to expand its presence across the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and has pledged to increase DCC’s customer base and market share.
DCC launched its D-AMPS service in 1996 and by the end of 2003 claimed 85,000 subscribers, just 1.39% of the market. Its network covers the capital Kyiv, Donetsk and the surrounding area, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Odessa, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Crimea. DCC president Valery Stepanenko first confirmed that his company was looking to move to a GSM-1800 platform in June 2003, when he submitted a request to the regulator for information on gaining an appropriate operating licence.
DCC is currently the third largest operator in the Ukraine. It competes with Golden Telecom and Ukrainian Radio Systems (URS), which both claimed 40,000 subscribers at the end of 2003, Kyivstar, which had 3.04 million, and Ukrainian Mobile Communications (UMC) which had 3.35 million.