VimpelCom has announced that its subsidiary Beeline Kazakhstan (formerly KaR-Tel) has entered a network sharing agreement with domestic rival K’cell for the joint deployment of 4G LTE services. VimpelCom says the agreement between Beeline Kazakhstan and K’cell aims to incorporate all LTE-ready sites (in terms of location, transmission capacity and the infrastructure environment of each city) into the newly-shared network, providing customers with superior 4G coverage and service quality. The two mobile network operators (MNOs) say they will undertake joint planning of the combined network in order to generate greater cost efficiencies and a significantly accelerated rollout of LTE across the country.
Yogesh Malik, Group Chief Technology Officer at VimpelCom, commented: ‘Becoming asset-light is key to our strategy to transform our group-wide network into one that meets our needs as a digital operator of the future. Central to our network consolidation strategy is finding like-minded partners to work with. The countrywide agreement with K’cell is the latest in a series of network sharing milestones that will further enable VimpelCom to deliver new digital services and improved network quality to bring us closer to our customers.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Beeline and K’cell claimed 36% and 39% of Kazakhstan’s mobile market respectively at the end of March 2016.