Armenia’s UCOM invests USD62.7m in network upgrade

26 May 2016

Armenian alternative broadband operator UCOM, which completed the merger and reorganisation of its recently acquired Orange Armenia unit in January this year, before confirming plans to drop the old brand name in April, says it has invested AMD30 billion (USD62.7 million) in the upgrade of its telecoms network. The company’s CEO Hayk Yesayan also told students at the National Polytechnic University this week that UCOM will soon unveil a new billing settlement and e-pay product, ‘Upay’.

In March this year, CommsUpdate reported that the Yerevan-based broadband internet provider officially announced plans to drop the Orange name from its recently acquired mobile subsidiary, with the rebranding exercise getting underway in April at all Orange Armenia offices and outlets. At the time Mr Yesayan said the company will unify under the preferred single brand name, although, for now at least, all existing Orange Armenia tariff offers, including tariffs for roaming and international calls, will remain in place.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that UCOM completed the merger and reorganisation of Orange Armenia in January 2016; no financial details of the deal – agreed in September 2015 – were disclosed, although Orange is known to have spent upwards of USD350 million in the venture – including its mobile licence. Orange Armenia launched on 5 November 2009 and today provides a range of 3G/3.5G voice and data services over a network which covers more than 97% of the Armenian population. The French giant said when announcing the sale last August that whilst Orange Armenia had performed well in terms of subscriber growth and profitability, it lacked ‘the necessary scale to carry out by itself the massive investments required to enable it to offer its customers convergent services’. The 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, has effectively created a new converged player which is able to offer a range of fixed and mobile services.

Armenia, Ucom, Ucom (formerly Orange Armenia)