Vodafone Ukraine mobile communications operator from July 1 will launch 4G (LTE) high-speed mobile Internet in the 1800 MHz band in 10 regions, the company’s spokeswoman Victoria Ruban has told Interfax-Ukraine. “On July 1, 2018 all three mobile operators are to receive licenses for the same number of towers [in the 1800 MHz band] – 1,600 each. Someone distributes them across Ukraine to declare more covered towns. We would focus on the largest cities in 10 regions to give high-quality coverage. Then, as soon as the licenses are issued we will expand geography,” she said.
Ruban said that 4G communications in the 1800 MHz band would be available to residents of around 50 cities and towns in the following regions: Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Sumy, Kirovohrad and Kherson.
Vodafone Ukraine, the mobile communications operator, saw UAH 2.9 billion of revenue in January-March 2018, which is 2.1% more than a year ago.
According to a financial report of the operator published on Wednesday, net profit in Q1 2018 fell by 30.75%, to UAH 367 million.
Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) grew by 17.6% year-over-year, to UAH 1.5 billion.
OIBDA margin reached 52.8%, a rise by 7 percentage points (p.p.) year-over-year.
Net profit in Q1 2018 totaled UAH 367 million, which is UAH 163 million less than a year ago. The main reasons for the reduction of profit were the increase in amortization expenses and devaluation of long-term assets in eastern Ukraine.
Subscribers’ revenue in Q1 2018 grew mainly thanks to organic growth of revenue from data transfer. In the period, Vodafone Ukraine increased revenue from data transfer 1.5-fold.
The subscribers’ base reached 20.7 million clients in Q1 2018. The number of data users grew by 1.2 million in a year.
Early 2018 Vodafone Ukraine significantly increased investment in infrastructure – UAH 1.2 billion in Q1 2018, including the cost of 4G licenses, investment in development of 3G and 4G networks.
Today high-speed 4G Internet is provided in 25 cities of Ukraine. Over 1 million clients of Vodafone Ukraine used 4G mobile Internet. 3G coverage is available for over 80% of residents of Ukraine in over 10,000 cities and towns.
Vodafone Ukraine is the second largest mobile communications operator in the country which serviced 20.8 million subscribers as of late 2017.
Vodafone Ukraine has launched new roaming tariffs for prepaid subscribers and the charged unlimited traffic service for Viber, WhatsApp and Skype, the company reported on Wednesday. “New roaming tariffs for free communication… during overseas trips to more than 75 countries. The updated tariffs offer affordable mobile Internet and unlimited messaging, as well as lower cost of calls in roaming,” the company said.
The cost of 15 minutes of calls in roaming will start from UAH 35, including in the countries as Austria, the UK, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, UAE, Poland, Portugal, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, Hungary, Croatia, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Montenegro, Estonia, Switzerland and Japan. The indicated cost of calls includes all incoming and outgoing calls to Vodafone Ukraine subscribers’ numbers, numbers of subscribers of other Ukrainian operators, as well as outgoing calls to local numbers of the host country.
In addition, the operator offers a package that includes 100 MB of mobile Internet and unlimited messaging within 24 hours in Viber, WhatsApp and Skype (including text messages and images) for UAH 40. The cost of sending SMS or MMS in roaming to all networks is UAH 15 for 15 messages.
Basic tariffs are valid if subscribers are registered in any network. A detailed list of countries in which new tariffs are in effect can be found on the operator’s website.
The Vodafone Ukraine mobile operator plans to launch 4G communications in the 2600MHz band in 20 cities of Ukraine from March 30 to April 2, CEO of the operator Olha Ustinova has said at a press conference. “We have to get bills for permissions for base stations and pay for them by the end of March 29. If the Ukrainian State Center of Radio Frequencies manages to issue all the papers for all 28 cities, tomorrow or at least from Monday we will launch 4G communications in the first cities,” she declared.
Ustinova stressed that Vodafone Ukraine will gradually launch the 4G mobile communications in the 2600MHz range, the first launch of the technology will cover 20 cities: Kyiv, three cities in Kyiv region (Boryspil, Vyshneve, Chabany), Dnipro, Pavlohrad (Dnipropetrovsk region), Kharkiv, Kupiansk (Kharkiv region), Zaporizhia, Energodar (Zaporizhia region), Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Novoselytsia (Chernivtsi region), Lutsk, Kropyvnytsky, Odesa, and Kherson.
By July the 4G network will be launched in 28 cities, including Brovary, Irpin (Kyiv region), Lymanka (Odesa region), Berdiansk (Zaporizhia region), Uzhgorod, Mukachevo (Zakarpattia region), Palianytsia, and Yaremche (Ivano-Frankivsk region). The company notes that more than 30% of subscribers are ready to use 4G communications, and the average traffic consumption per subscriber in the operator’s network is 4 Gb. At the same time, it is expected that with the introduction of the fourth generation communications technology, the consumed traffic will double.
The mobile communications operator Vodafone Ukraine plans to increase its store chain to 200 by the end of 2018 and change the franchise conditions for partner stores, Sales Director of Vodafone Ukraine Yevhen Bulakh said at a press conference in Kyiv. “By the end of the year, we plan to increase the number of our own stores to 200. We also have ambitious goals: to change the terms of partnership for our franchising stores, to change the requirements for them… with the aim of having, by the middle of next year, absolutely the same infrastructure in ours as well and in partners’ stores,” he said.
According to Bulakh, now the company has 30 own stores, as well as 400 stores that operate under a franchising scheme. He also said that by the end of 2019 it is planned to increase the number of own stores to 300-350 facilities. In addition, Vodafone Ukraine plans the use of VR-technologies in retail. At the same time, Bulakh did not specify the term when this technology appear in stores.