Altimo buys wireless licensee

30 Jun 2006

The telecoms arm of Russia’s Alfa Group, Altimo, has announced it has bought a 100% stake in Sky Mobile, a non-operational company with a GSM wireless licence covering Kyrgyzstan. The stake was purchased from Katel, a company which operates a D-AMPS wireless network in the country. The move is further evidence of the Russian cellcos quest to expand internationally; late last year MTS bought a 51% stake in another Kyrgyz cellco Bitel while Russian backed BiMoCom, a company thought to be backed by MegaFon, launched a new GSM network under the MegaCom brand in April. Altimo has a controlling stake in MegaFon and is one of two key shareholders in Russia’s second largest cellco Vimpelcom.