VimpelCom sees price inflation in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT, Nov. 3 (The Conway Bulletin) – Russian telecoms operator VimpelCom said revenues in Uzbekistan rose 5% in Q3 2016, compared to the same period in 2015 because of a new pricing mechanism  and underlying inflation.

In Uzbekistan, VimpelCom started to link its mobile charges to the US dollar, after volatility in the Uzbek sum hit the company’s revenue stream. This pushed up mobile and data prices plans across the country. It said that average user revenue had risen by 14%.

Inflation has been rising in Central Asia because of a decline in local currencies’ values and worsening economic conditions.

Tougher competition, however, shrank the customer base of VimpelCom’s Beeline brand in the country.

“The Uzbek market continues to experience intense competition, however Beeline remains the leader. The overall customer base decreased 6% to 9.6m, due to the launch of two new mobile operators in 2015,” the company said in a statement.
Subscribers numbers had fallen below 10m at end-2015, a 3-year low.

Earlier this year, VimpelCom paid a fine of $795m after it admitted paying bribes in 2007/8 to access the Uzbek mobile market.


— This story was first published in issue 303 of the weekly Conway Bulletin newspaper

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