VimpelCom increases its domestic operation

15 February 2011 |

Russian operator VimpelCom has acquired a 100% stake in Saint Petersburg-based fixedline provider Eltel for $33.5 million.

Eltel operates a 1,000km fibre-optic cable which covers commercial and affluent areas of Saint Petersburg, covering 1,100 residences and it has one of the largest data centres in the north western region. VimpelCom also adds Eltel’s high mobile subscriber rate to its operation, in a mobile market on the verge of maturity. VimpelCom confirmed its latest acquisition was in line with its geographical strategy to increase its presence in the northern capital.

“Saint Petersburg is a strategically important zone of our operation in the north western region, where VimpelCom delivers all types of communication services,” said Andrei Patoka, vice president corporate business development, Russia, at Vimpelcom. With cloud services gaining increasing traction in the global enterprise markets, Anubhuti Belgaonkar, lead analyst at Ovum believes Eltel’s data centre presence is an integral part of the acquisition as “most global operators have jumped on the managed services enterprise bandwagon.”

“The new data centre can enable VimpelCom to offer cloud infrastructure services to support to vendors that want hosted cloud solutions,” Belgaonkar said.

At the time of Capacity going to press, VimpelCom’s proposed $6.5 billion acquisition of Wind Telecom was still in major doubt after Norway’s Telenor, Vimpelcom’s second largest shareholder, began legal action against the move. Telenor claim the deal will be harmful to the company’s shareholders.