GTEL Mobile will discontinue the use of the Beeline trademark after a six-month transition period
After the deal is completed, in the next few months, it will mean an end to the Beeline trademark in the country.
In a press release issued on April 23, VimpelCom said it had agreed to sell its stake in Gtel Mobile to GTEL Transmit and Infrastructure Service One Member Company Limited, a subsidiary of Vietnam’s Global Telecommunication (Gtel). The buyer will pay around USD45 million for the deal.
According to VimpelCom, negotiations began in the fourth quarter of last year, after it had carried out an inspection of Gtel Mobile’s operating efficiency.
The group does not expect to incur losses as a result of the sale, they said.
Jo Lunder, the CEO of VimpelCom, said, “We have worked out plans to scrutinise all the aspects of the business model. The sale of our stake in Gtel Mobile is part of a wider effort to allocate funds more efficiently and optimise shareholder value.”
Upon completion of the sale, VimpelCom will have no further obligations or liabilities to GTEL Mobile. As a result, GTEL Mobile will discontinue the use of the Beeline trademark after a six-month transition period.
VimpelCom is a leading telecommunication services provider in Eastern Europe and Middle Asia. In Southeast Asia, the group has established a foothold in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
VimpelCom and Gtel set up Gtel Mobile, which launched the Beeline mobile network in July 2009, becoming the seventh mobile provider in Vietnam.
According to the latest statistics by Wireless Intelligence Data, Gtel Mobile had 3.8 million mobile subscribers in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2012, accounting for a 3% share in the Vietnamese mobile market.
Being the first foreign-invested mobile provider in Vietnam, with its 2G network, Gtel Mobile has somewhat changed the marketing landscape for the mobile services sector in Vietnam. Perhaps the most notable was the ‘billionaire’ package, which allowed subscribers to make free phone calls within the network. The promotion programme saved subscribers a total of about VND1 billion (USD47,915) in late 2011.