Ukrtelecom together with Iskratel, the Slovenian telecommunications company, and SID Bank, the Slovenian development bank, signed a new agreement on the development of fiber-optic Internet networks (GPON) in rural zone of Ukraine, Ukrtelecom said on Monday, Mach 23.
According to the company, the new project is designed for two years and includes more than 200 settlements in 13 regions of Ukraine. Total investments in the network construction project will amount to about UAH 200 million.
“The new project is the continuation of a long-term cooperation between Ukrtelecom and Iskratel in the development of high-speed optical access networks. Within its implementation, more than 2,000 kilometers of fiber-optic communication lines will be laid and modern switching equipment assembled in Slovenia at Iskratel production centers will be installed,” reads the statement.
According to Ukrtelecom, as a result of new network construction, hundreds of thousands people of the villages of Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Poltava, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Rivne, Kherson, Kharkiv, Cherkasy and Luhansk regions will get access to the Internet at speeds to 1 Gbps, to digital interactive television and other services of the company. This type of connection will allow communities to implement the full range of digital services.
The project includes settlements in most of which it was previously not possible to connect to wire Internet.
“Ukrtelecom as a national infrastructure telecoms operator of Ukraine has a unique opportunity to involve European financial and production partners in programs to bridge the digital divide in Ukraine,” Yuriy Kurmaz, the director of the company, said.
At this stage, the construction of the network is conducted according to the plan, namely work has begun in Kharkiv region.
The company said that the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic did not affect the planned work.
PJSC Ukrtelecom cut its net income by 1.4%, to UAH 6.357 billion in 2019, the company’s CEO Yuriy Kurmaz said at a press conference in Kyiv.
According to him, the revenue is expected at the level of 2019 amounting to about half a million hryvnia, but this figure will be announced only after the financial audit of the company.
At the same time, EBITDA increased by 9.4%, to UAH 1.766 million, EBITDA margin – by 2.8 percentage points (p.p.), to 27.8% compared to 2018.
The company’s capital investments grew by 14.6%, to UAH 692 million.
In the total amount of income, revenues from telecoms services amounted to UAH 5.288 billion (a decrease of 4.1% from 2018), while total revenues from providing Internet access and data transmission services continue growing – by 6.2%, to UAH 1.949 billion, revenues from telephony continue declining – by 9.1%, to UAH 2.56 billion.
In 2019, Ukrtelecom served 2.3 million fixed-line subscribers, 1.04 million Internet access subscribers, and 78,000 television subscribers in the B2C segment. Revenues from telephony in this segment decreased by 10.9%, to UAH 1.865 billion, those from Internet access services grew by 6.2%, to UAH 1.372 billion.
According to the results of 2019, the operator in the B2B segment serviced 790,000 fixed-line telephony subscribers with an average revenue per user (ARPU) of UAH 70 without VAT (UAH 68 in 2018), and 150,000 subscribers of the Internet access service with an average ARPU of UAH 198 (UAH 175 in 2018).
The EBITDA of Ukrtelecom (Kyiv) in January-June 2019 exceeded UAH 919 million, which is 10.8% more than a year ago, the largest Ukrainian fixed-line telephony operator has said.
According to the report, for the reporting period the total income of Ukrtelecom remained stable at the level of almost UAH 3.3 billion against UAH 3.249 billion for the same period last year, in particular income from telecommunications services amounted to UAH 2.755 billion.
Ukrtelecom notes that in January-June of this year it managed to increase revenue from Internet services by 8.2%, to more than UAH 880 million by continuing to deploy optics (plus 1,400 km since the beginning of the year) and connecting territorial communities to the Internet.
The company said that in the business segment, sales of Internet services increased by 8.6%, to UAH 184 million, and among private users by 8.1%, to UAH 698 million. According to the report, today the company offers Internet services in almost 2,300 locations in Ukraine.
Ukrtelecom said in the second quarter it launched a large project on laying more than 3,500 km of fiber-optic lines to provide nearly 300 small towns and villages with optical Internet.
Compared to the first half of 2018, revenues from fixed telephony decreased in the mass segment by 6.5%, in the corporate segment by 1.6%, and in general amounted to almost UAH 1.385 billion, which corresponds to the similar trend of decreasing voice services revenues from mobile operators.
Ukrtelecom in July plans to connect residents of 65 localities to broadband Internet as part of the implementation of the project to develop the optical network using GPON technology. The first connections under the project for the development of the optical network in 300 small localities started a month and a half earlier than planned, according to the operator’s website.
“At the first stage, works on the construction of the optical network are carried out in 16 regions: Zaporizhia, Volyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, Rivne, Khmelnytsky, Chernivtsi, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kherson, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Cherkasy and Chernihiv, where already 40% of the network has been laid, which is more than 220 kilometers. By the end of July, it is planned to build almost 600 km of the optical network in total,” the operator said.
According to the plans of Ukrtelecom, thousands of residents of 65 localities after connecting to the service will be able to receive Internet at speeds up to 200 Mbit per second, as well as use additional teleservices, in particular, Internet telephony and interactive television.
The company said that in 26 of the 65 localities connected, there was still no Internet.
PJSC Ukrtelecom in January-March 2019 increased EBITDA by 11% compared to the same period in 2018, to UAH 427 million, director general of the operator Yuriy Kurmaz has said at a press conference in Kyiv.
According to him, EBITDA margin for this period increased by 2 percentage points, to 26%.
Net income for the reporting period rose by 3%, to UAH 1.665 billion.
Kurmaz added that income from telecommunication services in the first quarter of the current year decreased by 1.4% compared to the first quarter of 2018, to UAH 1.416 billion.
In January-March, the operator provided services to private subscribers for more than UAH 922 million, business users for UAH 348 million.
At the same time, Kurmaz refused to voice the net financial result for the first quarter.
“I think it is inappropriate to talk about net profit for the first quarter, given the fact that from January 1 of this year a number of financial reporting standards have changed significantly, significantly influencing net profit. At the same time, I’d like to note that in the first quarter we achieved substantial profit,” he said.
Ukrtelecom will invest around UAH 270 million in the development of the high-speed fiber optic Internet network using GPON technology in almost 300 small towns and villages. Almost UAH 135 million was raised from Slovenia’s SID Bank, a promotional development and export bank.
“The start of construction of the fiber optic network is scheduled for the middle of May. The first connections to the new network will be already in July,” the operator said on Tuesday.
According to the report, the project is designed for two years and will be implemented jointly with the Iskratel telecommunications company. It provides for the construction of more than 3,500 km of fiber optic lines and subscriber access speeds of up to 200 Mbit per second, with the ability to use Internet telephony and interactive television. The partner company was selected based on the results of the tender for a comprehensive solution for the construction of the network, including construction and installation works, supply of equipment and startup works, the company said.
“The loan is secured by the insurance policy of SID bank to cover commercial and non-commercial risks. In this project, SID bank acts as an export credit agency,” Ukrtelecom said.