Veon, a global telecommunications giant, has laid out a plan to invest US$600 million over the next three years in its Ukraine operations. A significant portion of this investment will be directed towards the development of 4G mobile and fiber infrastructure. The announcement was made at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, and Veon urged other institutions to follow suit.
Oleksandr Komarov, CEO of Kyivstar, Veon’s subsidiary in Ukraine, expressed his enthusiasm for the project at the event. He said, “Today’s sizeable investment commitment signifies not only a continuation of our track record, but also an acceleration of our investments. At a time when many others are refraining from making future plans, we proudly commit to ‘building back better’ in partnership with public sector counterparts and other national and international stakeholders.” Komarov also invited other companies to invest with the same enthusiasm to contribute to the future of Ukraine.
Although investors may be hesitant to pour money into Ukraine, especially in the area of infrastructure, Kyivstar remains undaunted. In addition to infrastructure investments, the company is also looking at funding growth in digital services and making ongoing charitable donations.
The main focus of the announcement, however, is infrastructure. Kyivstar plans to invest in network expansion, particularly in its ‘LTE everywhere’ campaign and spreading fiber to provide high-quality Internet coverage. The company aims to cover 98% of the country’s population with 4G within three years, including small and remote settlements.
5G technology is also part of Kyivstar’s plan, but it seems to be taking a back seat for now. The company stated that its efforts in rolling out 4G and fiber would “eventually” lead to a 5G-focused reconstruction.
Kyivstar already offers digital solutions and services in health, education, and information dissemination. Last year, it acquired a controlling stake in digital healthcare provider Helsi. The new $600 million investment pledge will support the further development of Kyivstar’s existing digital services, as well as facilitate moves into new digital verticals.
Kyivstar has faced significant challenges in recent times. Its technical teams have performed nearly 150,000 repairs since the Russian invasion began in February 2022. As a result, 93% of its network is operational. Despite having lost customers due to the conflict, Kyivstar is committed to accelerating investments in the market during uncertain times.