Nordic cellular operator TeliaSonera will inject up to US$160 million next year in developing its new Uzbek unit Coscom, Coscom’s Chief Executive Bora Baisal said Thursday.
TeliaSonera took control of Coscom in July through its US$300-million acquisition of US-based MCT Corp., which also held stakes in other mobile operators in Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
TeliaSonera operates in the former Soviet Union countries through Fintur Holdings BV, a joint venture with Turkish telecommunications company Turkcell.
CEO Baisal said Fintur would consider attracting a local shareholder in Uzbekistan to help Coscom develop its business.
Coscom has around 410,000 subscribers; its competitors include Russian pair OAO Vimpel Communications (Beeline) and OAO Mobile TeleSystems (MTS-Uzbekistan).
Mobile penetration is almost 17% in Uzbekistan, a country of 26 million people. MTS-Uzbekistan is the largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan with subscribers’ number of 2.18 million as of 1 September.