Orange Group is in talks with the Armenian broadband and internet service provider (ISP) UCOM over the sale of 100% of its mobile subsidiary Orange Armenia. The French firm confirmed that the decision to offload the unit forms part of its Essentials2020 plan, which will see it divesting non-viable businesses and focusing instead on providing its core user base with high-quality mobile and converged (fixed) services. Orange says that whilst its local unit has performed well in terms of subscriber growth and profitability, it lacks ‘the necessary scale to carry out by itself the massive investments required to enable it to offer its customers convergent services’. A sale to UCOM, which was established in 2009 and has built up a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network with more than 75,000 residential customers, would create a leading player in the local market offering a range of fixed and mobile services.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Orange Armenia launched on 5 November 2009, since when it has invested more than EUR277 million (USD293 million) in its operations, including EUR51 million for its licence, and today provides a range of voice and data services over a network which covers more than 97% of the Armenian population.