Ukraine’s newest GSM mobile operator Life Astelit, which launched commercial services on 24 January 2005, has selected US-based delivery platform provider Telenity to deploy a range of MMS and SMS products on its new network. The US company will deliver its Telenity Canvas suite including multimedia messaging service centre (MMSC), short message service centre (SMSC), Messaging Gateway, USSD Gateway, voice mail system, voice supported services and a Canvas service delivery platform (SDP). Life Astelit’s GSM network is being installed by Ericsson and Nokia. The cellco is indirectly owned by Turkcell and domestic shareholders.
Life Astelit was established in 1995 in Donetsk under the guise of DCC and has been offering a D-AMPS service on a TDMA-based network in the 800MHz band since 1996. It holds licences for cellular, long-distance and international communications, and its network covers the capital Kiev, Donetsk and the surrounding area, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Odessa, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Crimea. In June 2003 then DCC president Valery Stepanenko confirmed that his company was looking to move to a GSM-1800 platform and had submitted a request to the regulator for information on gaining an appropriate operating licence. In April 2004 Turkish mobile operator Turkcell signed an agreement with DCC’s existing shareholders regarding plans to provide GSM operations in Ukraine. Turkcell agreed to purchase a 51% stake in the new DCC (Astelit) after paying EUR42 million to acquire shares owned by System Capital Management and Valeriy Grigorievich Stepanenko.