VimpelCom 2016 will cease to invest in 3G network

Moscow. On 6 November. VimpelCom reduces investment in the network of the third generation, and from 2016 and promises not to stop to invest in the construction of 3G.

“Given the fact that the 3G technology seems to us a technology of the past, we in the further expansion of 3G in the next year to invest will not, and this year invest limited. It in General affects our capital”, – told reporters the Executive Vice-President of “VimpelCom” for strategy and business development Alexander Popovsky.

The company’s investment in LTE are targeted in nature – depending on the level of demand of technology in a particular territory.

As reported, in the first 9 months of 2015 CAPEX of the operator amounted to 28.7 billion rubles, which is 26% lower than a year earlier. The competitor “Vympelcom” “the big three” “the Megaphone” the same indicator has increased by 29.2% to 46,5 billion. MTS has not yet reported for 9 months, but the first half of the capex of the company amounted to 49.4 billion rubles.

The main driver of the decline of capex of VimpelCom, according to Popovsky, saving on construction at the expense of lower prices from suppliers and “more reasonable” approach to network deployment. He did not comment on the size of the investment, “VimpelCom”, noting that the main focus of development of LTE networks, the company shifted to the end of 2015 – 2016.

“We hope that in 2016 will begin the explosive growth in the consumption of LTE technology. This is related to our rather restrained in comparison with competitors investment in 4G. We don’t want to buy the more expensive equipment that it “warmed air”, because then it can be bought cheaper when the penetration reaches the desired size,” said Popovsky.

The proportion of LTE users in the subscriber base of VimpelCom he called “minor,” adding that the growth of 4G traffic is important. As said the representative of the company Anna Imasheva, the results of the third quarter the penetration of LTE devices in its subscriber base of the operator increased by 2.5 times compared to the previous year (the company does not exact figures). In Moscow and St. Petersburg about 40% of Internet traffic “VimpelCom” falls on the LTE network.

Operator plans for the development of 4G infrastructure in the next year is also explained by lower prices for LTE smartphones.

Meanwhile, the growth of revenue of VimpelCom from data services by the end of the third quarter slowed to 16% from 19% a quarter earlier. The figure was 11.4 billion rubles. Data-operator services are used by 36 million customers (61% of the subscriber base). For the quarter their number increased by 6.5% (to 33.8 million).