Ookla (the United States), the developer of Speedtest service, has recognized Vodafone Ukraine as the mobile network operator with the highest average mobile Internet speed in Ukraine in July-December 2020.
Such data were released during an online conference on Thursday.
“Now we have already recorded almost 5 million Ukrainians who have tested Internet services on this platform. This is an extraordinary figure in scale. Today we are here to welcome the fastest mobile Internet in Ukraine – Vodafone Ukraine,” the sales director at Ookla said during the conference.
According to him, in Q3-Q4 2020, Vodafone Ukraine reached the Speed Score of 30.85 (in 2019 it was 17.93). The average download speed was 29.38 Mbps, upload – 14.1 Mbps (in 2019 it was 19.37 Mbps and 11.16 Mbps, respectively).
He also said that in 2020, Ukraine climbed one position in the global ranking in terms of Internet connection speed, being 86th.
Ookla is a leader in fixed and mobile internet speed testing and analysis. According to the company, users run more than 10 million tests on the application every day.
The mobile operator lifecell plans to connect another 148 settlements to the 4G network by the end of December, where more than 200,000 people live.
According to the operator’s statement on Thursday, in November 2020, high-speed Internet from lifecell appeared in 452 settlements throughout Ukraine.
“Among them, 80 settlements are unique, as until this year there was no 4G coverage from any mobile operator,” the company said.
At the same time, over the past six months, high-speed mobile communication 4G from lifecell has appeared in 1,250 settlements where more than 800,000 people live.
To improve communication, the operator installed 301 new base stations during 2020 and upgraded another 764 stations.
In general, in 2020, more than 1 million residents of different regions of Ukraine received access to high-speed mobile Internet from lifecell.
Now access to 3G and 4G communications from lifecell is already available to 75% of Ukrainian residents.
In 2021, the operator plans to actively work on further rollout of coverage, which will reduce the gap in access to digital services between small towns and cities.
Mobile network operators Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and lifecell plan to build up to 30% of new telecom network sites based on the infrastructure sharing model.
“We have agreed on sharing… All operators are aware that it makes no sense to build three networks in some localities and on some roads, that it makes sense to agree to a reasonable story with investments, it makes sense to share networks. According to forecasts, 30% of the new construction will be the sharing network,” Vodafone Ukraine CEO Olha Ustinova said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.
She also said that operators have great anticipations about the state’s permission to launch spectral sharing, which will allow them to share not only passive infrastructure, but also its active part.
Ustinova also called the elimination of the digital divide one of the most important projects of the telecom industry in Ukraine.
The mobile communications operator lifecell increased operating income by 14.2% to UAH 1.746 billion in July-September 2020 (compared to UAH 1.529 billion in July-September 2019).
According to the operator’s press service, the net profit amounted to UAH 36.8 million for the specified period (in the third quarter of 2019, the net loss was UAH 338.3 million). EBITDA increased by 12.3% to UAH 909.8 million, EBITDA margin was 52.1% (for the same period in 2019, this indicator was 53%).
The operator lifecell’s active three-month subscriber base increased by 13% to 7.8 million subscribers in the third quarter and by 2.6% compared to the previous quarter.
At the same time, the active three-month base of users of high-speed mobile 4.5G Internet grew by 51% by the end of the third quarter of 2020 compared to last year and accounted for 60% of all users of data services. Accordingly, the average use of data traffic grew by 59% year to year.
The company’s active three-month ARPU increased by 2.1% in the third quarter of 2020 and amounted to UAH 76.3 compared to UAH 74.7 in the previous year. At the same time, the 12-month active MoU grew by 20.5% to 180.8 minutes (150.1 minutes in Q3 2019).
The operator lifecell’s capital investments increased by 57.1% to UAH 860.6 million in the third quarter of 2020 versus UAH 547.7 million in the third quarter of 2019.
“This quarter we achieved net income for the first time since the company had started operating in 2005. Our subscriber base is continuing to grow, smartphone penetration has reached 81%. The company has managed to gain such results despite all challenging circumstances like pandemic environment, uncompetitive market conditions and strong commitments to state related to fast 4G rollout. And I would like to assure you that we will continue to invest in Ukraine and to do everything we can to provide all our subscribers with best products and services,” Chief Executive Officer of lifecell Ismet Yazici said.
The mobile operators Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and lifecell, together with Huawei, have launched 4G at 23 more stations of Kyiv metro and in the tunnels between them.
According to the joint press release of the operators, in general, since October 28, the high-speed mobile Internet of three operators has been operating at 45 out of 46 underground stations.
4G will appear at the last Teremky station during December.
The launch of the 4G network in the metro began in March this year from the Akademmistechko station and continued gradually.
“It is interesting that almost 300,000 subscribers of all three operators use 4G Internet every day on average. Together, subscribers of mobile operators have already used more than 400 terabytes of traffic in the metro. This volume would be enough, for example, for a continuous viewing high quality video for 30 years,” the release notes.
For 4G operation in the metro Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and lifecell use joint equipment from Huawei, but their own frequencies in accordance with licenses. Frequencies are used in two bands: 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz. According to the operators, the average 4G speed in the metro exceeds 40 Mbps.
CEO of lifecell mobile operator Ismet Yazici would like to see Azerbaijan Bakcell, which at the end of December 2019 bought Vodafone Ukraine, the second largest Ukrainian mobile operator, as an ally in the deregulation of the Ukrainian telecom market.
“I would like the new owner of the second largest mobile operator to actively engage in activities to improve working conditions in the Ukrainian telecom market. I would like Bakcell be an associate in how to deregulate the Ukrainian telecom market, make it more transparent, more competitive and more effective. Unfortunately, we are not observing this yet,” he told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the CEO of lifecell, the change of ownership of Vodafone Ukraine did not influence the behavior and work of the operator in the Ukrainian market.
“After Bakcell entered the Ukrainian market, we did not see any changes. Vodafone Ukraine continues to adhere to previously defined strategy and continues to do what it did on the market before,” Yazici said.
The lifecell operator is the third largest mobile communications operator in Ukraine.