Vimpelcom victory

20 Sep 2006

A Russian court has ordered the country’s telecoms regulator to reconsider an application for new spectrum from Vimpelcom, Russia’s second largest cellular operator. Vimpelcom launched a legal battle last year when it failed to gain access to mobile spectrum in Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, despite its two main rivals having licences covering the entire area. The Moscow Arbitration Court has now given the government’s State Radio Frequency Commission 14 days to reconsider Vimpelcom’s request.

Separately, Vimpelcom is continuing with its plan to move subscribers from its old D-AMPS network to its GSM system. The telco has around 92,000 subscribers still using the D-AMPS networks, which it eventually hopes to shut down. Vimpelcom has launched a scheme to urge users in the cities of Moscow and Samara to upgrade to GSM; customers are being offered discounted tariffs and free handsets if they switch networks.

Russia, Beeline (Russia)