Kyivstar head Komarov offers Ukraine update

Kyivstar head Komarov offers Ukraine update

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Capacity caught up with Oleksandr Komarov, CEO of Kyivstar for an update on its operations in Ukraine.

After Veon unveiled a US$600 million in the recovery of Ukraine over the next three years through its subsidiary Kyivstar, Capacity joined Oleksandr Komarov, CEO of Kyivstar for a chat in London.

The investment will cover Kyivstar’s infrastructure projects, delivering essential connectivity and 4G services across the country, as well as the development of digital services accessible to all Ukrainians and community support projects.

The announcement was made as a part of the international Ukraine Recovery Conference in London this week.

During this, Veon unveiled its 'Invest in Ukraine, Now!' campaign, inviting all international and national stakeholders to invest in Ukraine to support the country’s reconstruction efforts.

Komarov says that this investment is related to the “urgent needs rather than the economy” as a whole.

This comes as the operator stated that it has carried out 150,000 repairs, yet 93% of its network remains functional. Images of the damage caused can be seen below.

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“Right now, we are mainly focused on how we can get the Ukrainian economy restarted, and of course, there are a lot of limitations,” he says.

“We are looking for a way to ensure development in very difficult circumstances.”

Komarov also referenced the 4G everywhere service, citing plans to reach 98% coverage of the population with 4G. As for 5G, this will have to wait.

Investment plans

With regards to continued investment, Komarov states that the operator remains “opportunistic” in the market.

This includes work on the fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network as well as consolidation in the fixed market.

Komarov says that the company aims to invest in areas where the operator can make real change.

This, he adds, has already been highlighted by its investment in the country’s largest medical information system Helsi Ukraine last year.

Helsi has been on the market for over six years and has more than 23 million patients. It is known as a provider of SaaS solutions for medical systems for 1,300 public and private clinics.

“Since the beginning of the war, we decided that our primary objective was to keep network and services running, but where can we make social change?” Komarov says.

He adds that education is another area that Kyivstar is keeping a close eye on.

Alongside this, Komarov believes cloud services and big data will also receive investment from the company moving forward.

Yet even despite some limitations, Komarov is confident that Ukraine will sustain itself moving forward.

”We will have a chance to be a part of one of the biggest development projects of the 21st century,” he says.

The full interview with Komarov will be in the next issue of Capacity Magazine.

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