Ucom CEO urges consolidation in Armenia

Ucom CEO urges consolidation in Armenia

Ucom CEO Ara Khachatryan called for consolidation in the Armenian telecoms market to raise necessary investments for new customer services, to stem the sector’s decline.

In an interview with Arka News Agency, Khachatryan noted with public financial and operational data available from operators in the sector, consolidation was “imperative as the market is in decline”.

He said the decline was “expected” against the backdrop of global technology advancement and wider access of the internet, leading to traditional telecoms services such as voice calls being replaced.

Khachatryan said the Armenian telecoms market is limited by its available subscriber base and will have to consolidate for fresh funds to invest into new technology and services, he pointed to how some operators widened their scope with financial services on the back of investments, reported Arka News Agency.

In May, Veon Armenia which operates the Beeline brand in the country, abandoned talks of a possible sale of its mobile unit to Ucom, after several hundred Ucom employees including its co-founders reportedly resigned in protest, after learning senior shareholders planned to appoint Beeline CEO Andrey Pyatakhin to lead the resulting unit.

A merger between the two operators would have yielded “serious optimisation” for both, an example Khachatryan gave was both operators could have pooled base stations and reduce the total amount needed by a quarter to reduce overall costs.

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