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Vimpelcom has Georgia on its mind with new network launch

16 Mar 2007

Russia’s second largest operator by subscribers Vimpelcom revealed in a press release yesterday that it has launched services under its Beeline brand in Georgia, via subsidiary Mobitel. The GSM-1800 network is live in the capital city Tbilisi and nearby Rustavi. Expansion to the city of Batumi is expected by May 2007, with all regional centres covered by the end of 2007, and the entire country covered by 2008. Mobitel General Director Roman Kalinin said in an interview that he hopes the company will gain 35% of the Georgian mobile subscriber market by the end of this year.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Mobitel was founded in 2003 but did not conduct any operations until December 2006, five months after Vimpelcom took a 51% stake in the cellco for USD12.6 million. In addition to Georgia, Vimpelcom owns mobile operators in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Armenia, all operating under the Beeline brand.

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