Hard on the heels of its successful award of the country’s fourth mobile licence, Armenian fixed and broadband provider UCOM LLC commercial director Aram Barseghyan says that the altnet plans to invest tens of millions of US dollars in the roll out of a new mobile internet network in the country. The official said that whilst the exact figure has yet to be determined, Barseghyan said the total amount of investment for the next five years has not been determined, he did say that it will likely be as much as it has already invested in the country to date. The mobile network project is expected to pay for itself within five years he added, noting that people living outside the capital Yerevan are actively using today mobile internet connections and are willing to pay AMD5,000 (USD12.3) per month for a quality high speed service.
As reported in yesterday’s CommsUpdate, UCOM has been granted the fourth mobile licence by the national regulator, the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC). The market is currently home to ArmenTel (Beeline), VivaCell MTS, and Orange Armenia. Until now UCOM has provided fixed line telephony, internet, and IP telephony services. The concession gives the altnet rights for the use of 801MHz-811MHz/842MHz-852MHz radio frequency spectrum for the provision of mobile communication services, for the initial period of November 2013 to 6 August 2018. The telco paid AMD6.2 billion for the licence and plans to launch commercial services by 1 January 2015. Under the terms of the PSRC’s award, UCOM will deliver wireless broadband internet coverage of the capital Yerevan and its adjacent areas, as well as covering 80% of Armenia’s provinces – with rights to offer mobile voice/mobile internet services in those areas. The company has not confirmed whether it will offer voice, but neither is it ruling it out.