Vimpelcom spells out ArmenTel plans; rebrands to Beeline

8 Apr 2008

According to, Vimpelcom plans to invest USD74 million this year in ArmenTel as part of the ongoing modernisation of the telco’s fixed and mobile networks. An estimated USD90 million was spent during 2007, and senior VimpelCom executives have said that the additional expenditure is aimed partly at reversing ArmenTel’s falling share of the wireless market. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in June 2005 ArmenTel claimed 100% of the country’s wireless subscribers, but following the launch of MTS-backed VivaCell the company saw its share of the mobile market dwindle to just 24.3% by the end of 2007. Dmitry Pleskonos, a VimpelCom vice-chairman, blamed the drop on the ongoing upgrading of the ArmenTel network, which causes periodical disruptions in phone connection, and VivaCell’s aggressive marketing strategy. ‘We did not react sufficiently to the activity displayed by our business competitors,’ he told a news conference in Yerevan yesterday. Pleskonos and other VimpelCom executives were speaking to journalists as ArmenTel officially renamed its wireless division Beeline, the brand name used by VimpelCom and its other subsidiaries.