Uzbek subsidiary of TeliaSonera to continue operating
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sept.18
By Demir Azizov- Trend:
Ucell mobile operator, subsidiary of TeliaSonera in Uzbekistan will continue to operate despite TeliaSonera's decision to leave the Central Asian market, the message from Ucell said Sept.18.
Ucell said it will continue to work hard and implement its local strategy and development plans.
TeliaSonera adopted a decision on Sept.17 to increase its focus on Europe. The company said this decision was made due to the rapid change of the telecommunications market.
Ucell team is ready more than ever to continue to fulfill its tasks professionally and above all, to provide mobile communications services at high standards of quality and service, said the mobile operator.
"Ucell users will receive uninterrupted service and maintenance in the same mode as it is now, and in all directions", the company said.
In July 2007, Fintur Holdings B.V., controlled by TeliaSonera, acquired 100 percent of assets of the MCT Corp, which owned stakes in the mobile operator Coscom FE LLC.
From June 2008, the operator has provided mobile services in Uzbekistan under the brand name Ucell, employing the GSM 900-1800 standard.
In February 2009, Ucell launched the 3G network for commercial operation, and in July 2010 it commissioned the 4G network on the basis of LTE (long-term evolution) standard in the capital city of Tashkent.
Currently, TeliaSonera owns 94 percent of the operator's shares, while the Uzbek-minority shareholders own six percent.
A possible sale of Coscom was discussed during a visit of TeliaSonera's Executive Vice President Erik Hallberg to Uzbekistan in Sept. 2014, according to unofficial information.
The results of those discussions were not disclosed.
In 2014, the operator's net proceeds grew by 15.9 percent in comparison with 2013 reaching 3.613 billion Swedish kronor (about $436.2 million), while the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 15.7 percent up to 1.944 billion kronor (or $234.7 million).
Ucell's subscriber base increased by 0.9 percent, reaching 8.574 million.
Edited by SI