DUSHANBE , January 25, Asia-Plus - Major Russian cellular operator, open joint-stock company (OJSC) “Vympel-Communications” (VympelCom), better known under the brand “Beeline”, intends to invest US$100 million in Tajik cellular operator “Tacom”.

Representatives from “VympelCom” and “Tacom” companies told journalists this in Dushanbe on January 24.    

The VympelCom technical director Sergey Avdeyev speaking to journalists noted that over the past three years, VympelCom has acquired eight new companies, including Kazakhstan’s “Kar-Tel”, “Ukrainskiye radiosistemy” (Ukrainian radio systems), the Kaliningrad-based “Ekstel” and “Beeline-Samara”.

According to him, Tajik cellular operator has attracted their attention by being licensed to provide cellular communication services in Tajikistan in the GSM-900/1800, UMTS, CDMA-450, and AMPS standards.

The Tacom acting director general Igor Pilyugin speaking to journalists said that to date, Tacom has had some 28,000 subscribers, who may use the previous line until “Beeline” launches its own network and they will automatically become subscribers to “Beeline”  

“We will try to get Tajikistan ’s market by summer,” said Pilyugin, “We are still providing cellular communication services in GSM but then we will expand and develop our services.”  “Beeline will have many packages of services specially worked out for different sections of Tajikistan ’s population.”

As it had been reported earlier, VympelCom purchased a 60% stake in Tajik cellular operator “Tacom” for $12 million.  As a result of the deal, VympelCom became a party to the shareholding agreement with shareholders in Tacom, who hold the remaining 40 percent of shares.  This deal gives to VympelCom the primary right to buy out remaining shares and increase its stake to 100%.  VympelCom''s $12 million price tag represents $2,000 per subscriber, which is the highest price paid within the CIS to date (MTS last year paid $960 per subscriber for control of Turkmenistan''s leading operator, Barash, and $626 for Kyrgyz operator Bitel).

Information of Asia-Plus: “VympelCom” includes operators providing cellular communication services in Russia , Kazakhstan , Ukraine , Uzbekistan and Tajikistan . More than 45 million people are using services rendered by this company.