VimpelCom Uzbekistan licence extended to 2031

25 July 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe

VimpelCom has announced its Uzbekistan subsidiary, Beeline, has been granted a 15-year extension to its operating licence.

BeelineThe Uzbekistan Regulatory authorities’ decision to extend the licence follows an application submitted in May 2016.

“We are extremely pleased to have our licence extended in Uzbekistan and will continue to serve our customers in this important market by providing them with world-class products and services,” said Dmitriy Shukov, CEO of Beeline Uzbekistan.

“We cover 88% of the Uzbekistan population with our 2G network, 52% with 3G, and are now preparing to significantly expand our 4G/LTE services. VimpelCom is committed to providing access to essential digital and telecommunications services across our diverse footprint where we aim to make a difference to the lives of the millions of customers we serve.”

Uzbekistan is a key market for VimpelCom, which has invested more than $1 billion in Uzbekistan since 2006 and has paid more than $950 million in tax, making it one of the country’s top taxpayers.

Beeline Uzbekistan was founded in 1996 and the company commercially launched 3G in December 2008 and 4G in September 2014. 

In February, VimpelCom paid $835 million in settlement fees to US and Dutch authorities after admitting it paid huge bribes to enter the Uzbekistan telecoms market.