Armenian mobile network operator (MNO) U!com, formerly Orange Armenia, has released an update on its ongoing 4G+ network rollout, claiming it now has the most extensive footprint of any carrier in the country. In an interview with local news portal Armenpress, Director General Hayk Yesayan confirmed that in the latest phase of expansion, his company had extended LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) coverage to the border region of Tavush. Further, Mr Yesayan pointed out that as a result of its continued investment in its advanced mobile network, U!com has boosted the reach of 4G+ from 55 settlements at end-2016 to over 102 today – including a number of towns and villages in rural areas. Going forward, U!com is confident it will complete its network modernisation in 2017, covering around 85% of the territory in the process.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in March 2016 the MNO’s parent, Armenian broadband provider Ucom, announced the signing of the 4G LTE supply contract with Ericsson, including plans to invest USD20 million in 2016 alone. Ultimately, the altnet’s 4G network will cover more than 95% of the Armenian population, with initial base stations being deployed in Yerevan (from September 2016) and the regions. Ucom is looking to spend around AMD131.7 billion (USD270 million) in the three-year period 2016-2018, of which AMD38.3 billion was allocated for 2016, AMD44.1 billion in the second year of the programme and AMD49.3 billion in the third.