Ukraine’s largest cellco by subscribers Kyivstar has decided to cease selling new mobile packages under its ‘youth’ brand Djuice, despite announcing in the first quarter of this year that it surpassed eight million Djuice users – or over 30% of its entire subscriber base. Kyivstar’s director of commercial and operational marketing Svyatoslav Gorban, quoted by Forbes.ua, stressed that the company does not intend to forcibly convert existing Djuice subscribers to new tariffs, and that existing customers will continue to receive the same services, while he explained that the step was taken under a strategy to consolidate all the company’s brands under the single ‘Kyivstar’ banner, as he added that the operator had almost competed the process of discontinuing the legacy ‘Beeline’ brand. Explaining the move further, Mikhail Shuranov, director of corporate communications at Kyivstar, cited by Capital.ua, said that the current demographic partitioning of Kyivstar’s brands no longer made sense, as Djuice’s emphasis on music and other digital content was now in demand from a much wider audience in ‘the age of the smartphone’ as the number of mobile internet and multimedia content users increases exponentially. Shuranov pointed out that from 2011 Kyivstar began making a wider and more flexible range of mobile internet tariffs and flat-rate digital content subscriptions available to all subscribers, while by the end of 2012 there were very few differences between tariff plans in terms of on-net and off-net calls or calls to Djuice/other sub-brand users. The cellco has decided to foreground the Kyivstar branding and channel more funds and resources in the development of the single brand, with benefits to be introduced across its whole customer base. To this end, Kyivstar has introduced a new range of ‘unified’ pre-paid tariff plans available from today (1 October), which Svyatoslav Gorban said he expects ‘90%’ of network users to migrate to in due course.
Elsewhere, Kyivstar reported that its mobile High Definition (HD) voice service, commercially launched in August, currently has 90,000 users. The company said that HD voice is currently activated in metropolitan Kiev, the surrounding Kiev region, Crimea and Chernivtsi, and currently carries more than 200,000 calls and 400,000 minutes per day.