Russian national telecoms operator Rostelecom yesterday announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Teleset Networks, has invested RUB682 million (USD22.5 million) to take a 75% minus one share stake in GNC-ALFA, the largest independent internet and data provider in Armenia. Commenting on the purchase Rostelecom president Alexander Provotorov said: ‘This is the first acquisition outside of Russia that we have concluded as part of our international expansion policy. The acquisition of a control stake in GNC-ALFA provides Rostelecom with access to a well-developed infrastructure for broadband and pay-TV services in the Armenian telecommunications market, a market which has a significant growth potential.’
As reported by CommsUpdate, at the end of last month GNC-ALFA announced the extension of its countrywide 10Gbps bandwidth IP/MPLS network to the cities of Gavar, Idjevan, Martuni and Noemberyan. At the time GNC-ALFA confirmed that its network aggregation nodes – using equipment supplied by Juniper Networks – had been put into operation in the above-mentioned areas. The network allows the altnet to provide a range of communications services including IP transit, internet access, data telecommunication, virtual private networks (VPNs) and other services to other operators, ISPs and corporate customers.
GNC-ALFA’s network is based on fibre-optic cable infrastructure spanning approximately 1,500km, and covering approximately 70% of the territory of the Republic. The altnet’s network is interconnected with the region’s major backbone networks, as well as sharing international gateways with Iran and Georgia. GNC-ALFA claims to be the largest independent aggregator of national IP-traffic, and its subsequent transit, in the country. In 2012, it plans to develop its suite of broadband internet and pay-TV services for the residential segment as it looks to stimulate revenue growth in its business. GNC-ALFA reported revenues of approximately USD12 million in FY2011, with an EBITDA margin of 48%. The company’s net debt stands at less than USD1 million.