Uzbekistan’s new mobile network operator kicks off operations

Uzbekistan’s new mobile network operator kicks off operations

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dec. 1

By Demir Azizov - Trend:

Uzbekistan's new mobile network operator, Universal Mobile Systems (UMS), started Dec. 1 the commercial operation of the mobile network in Uzbekistan, according to the UMS website.

The UMS said on its website that it currently offers three tariffs for individuals and two tariffs for corporate clients.

The Universal Mobile Systems is a joint venture, created in late September 2014 by the Russia-based company Mobile TeleSystems JSC (MTS) and the Center of Radio Contact, Broadcast and Television, which is a state unitary enterprise operating under the Uzbek State Committee for Communications, Information and Telecommunication Technologies.

Under a settlement agreement earlier signed between MTS and Uzbekistan, the Russian company received a 50.01-percent share in the UMS, while the Uzbek side got a 49.99-percent share in the joint venture.

The UMS will utilize the infrastructure and equipment of the former subsidiary of MTS in Uzbekistan, the Uzdunrobita.

The joint venture was given the 2G/3G/LTE-licenses. The necessary frequency range and number capacity (2.5 million numbers, some 1.5 million of them being for the capital city of Tashkent) were allocated for the UMS.

The UMS was also handed over other permits for work, and was provided with refund and investment safety guarantees.

Previously it was reported that in 2012, Uzdunrobita, the leader of the Uzbek market with a subscriber base of 9.3 million, was deprived of licenses.

In January 2013 the company filed for bankruptcy amid numerous claims by the Uzbek authorities.

The Tashkent Economic Court declared the company bankrupt, launching liquidation proceedings with regard to it.

However, the auctions held to sell the assets were declared invalid due to the lack of applications, and therefore in late 2013, Uzdunrobita's property was handed over to safekeeping of Uzbekistan's national network operator, the Uzbektelecom JSC.

This summer, MTS and Uzbekistan signed a settlement agreement, under which the company must resume its work to render mobile communication services in Uzbekistan as part of a joint venture with the state's participation.

Currently, Uzbekistan has four mobile network operators. These are the Unitel (subsidiary of the Russian company VimpelCom), Coscom (subsidiary of the Scandinavian company TeliaSonera), the Rubicon Wireless Communications JV (RWC, trademark of the Perfectum Mobile) and Uzbektelekom Mobile (UzMobile).

The official exchange rate for Dec. 1 is 2401.09 UZS/$1.

Edited by CN

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