Tigo comes to an end

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VietStock FI English - 37 month(s) ago 14 readings

Tigo comes to an end

Tigo, one of the most widely recognised and popular telecom brand names among the younger generation in Laos, will soon cease to exist.

The VimpelCom Lao headquarters in Vientiane. The company's Tigo brand name will change to Beeline later this month.

VimpelCom, which took control of Millicom Lao earlier this year, yesterday issued advertising material to declare the launch of Beeline to replace the Tigo brand name.

The VimpelCom Lao headquarters in Vientiane. The company's Tigo brand name will change to Beeline later this month.

The name change is part of the company's marketing policy amid strong competition in the Lao telecom market of 6.5 million consumers.

VimpelCom is expected to make an official announcement on the change this week, bringing an end to the Tigo brand name after four years of operation in Laos.

Millicom Lao changed to VimpelCom Lao after VimpelCom, a major Russian telecom operator, purchased a majority shareholding earlier this year.

VimpelCom paid about US$65 million for equity in the company and about US$23 million for the repayment of debt, repayment of shareholder loans and intra-group indebtedness to acquire 78 percent of Millicom Lao from Millicom International Cellular earlier this year. The remaining shares belong to the Lao government.

The decision of the Russian firm to purchase a majority shareholding in Millicom Lao was part of its plan to expand its business in Indochina. The company already has telecom companies operating under the Beeline brand name in Vietnam.

Representatives of VimpelCom Lao were unable to make an official comment regarding the expected changes to the company's brand name.

According to undisclosed sources, the company's management team remains unchanged after VimpelCom became the new majority shareholder in Millicom Lao.

It is anticipated the company will launch a major promotion and publicity campaign to familiarise people with the Beeline name, the newest telecom brand name in Laos.

VimpelCom is one of the world's largest groups of integrated telecommunications services operators offering a wide range of wireless, fixed and broadband services in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Italy and Canada.

As of June 30, 2011, VimpelCom had 193 million mobile subscribers. VimpelCom Ltd is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the code VIP.

There are four telecom companies in Laos - Lao Telecom, Telecom Lao, Millicom Lao and Star Telecom. About 83 percent of the Lao population has access to mobile phone services thanks to increased business competition in the sector in recent years.

The Ministry of Telecom, Posts and Communication recently banned telecom companies from offering certain promotions such as free services to attract more customers, to ensure the companies continue to operate sustainably.

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