16:40 10.06.2024

VEON increases investments in Ukraine to $1 bln

4 min read

The parent company of the largest mobile operator in Ukraine, Kyivstar, VEON, on the eve of the recovery conference in Berlin, announced an increase in investment in Ukraine from the current $600 million to $1 billion over five years.

"VEON, through its 100%-owned subsidiary Kyivstar, plans to increase its commitment to rebuild Ukraine’s digital infrastructure to $1 billion over the five-year period from 2023 through 2027," the company said on Monday.

The commitment will fund investments into network and digital services, including potential acquisitions or the development of new assets, social contributions and partnerships.

Chairman of VEON board of directors and VEON founder Augie Fabela, VEON and Kyivstar board member and former U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, and Kyivstar CEO Oleksandr Komarov will attend the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024 in Berlin later this week, to highlight VEON’s and Kyivstar's current contributions to Ukraine’s resilience as well as VEON's future commitment to the rebuilding and restoration of Ukraine, including the aforementioned upgraded investment plan, according to the VEON press release.

Komarov, quoted in the report, said that VEON and Kyivstar support Ukraine’s resilience, recovery and reconstruction in every possible way, from meeting the vital connectivity needs of the country to serving the population with digital capabilities, from futureproofing our network with OpenRAN partnerships to ensuring energy resilience and continuity.

"Having seen the support of VEON's international investors, I am proud to note that Kyivstar is a significant example of how a socially responsible business with international investors can support a country through war… we will join the call at the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024 for businesses to invest in Ukraine and invest now! I’m happy that we will do so with an increased investment commitment of our own: $1 billion over 5 years," Komarov said.

The company recalled that VEON’s Kyivstar was named Ukraine's largest foreign investor in 2022 and 2023 by Forbes Ukraine, with a capex investment of UAH 12.3 billion over those two years – approximately $176 million and $174 million in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

VEON recalled that Since February 24, 2022, Kyivstar has built 1,895 new LTE base stations and upgraded about 13,200 existing base stations to 4G. Kyivstar has added more than 4,100 residential areas to 4G coverage, and 95% of the population of territories controlled by Ukraine have access to 4G services on Kyivstar's network. The operator aims for near universal (98%) population coverage in 4G over the next two years.

In addition, Home and business fixed line users are benefitting from Kyivstar's roll-out of its high-speed GPON network, which is due to be expanded to seven new cities in 2024.

In February 2024, Kyivstar and Rakuten Symphony signed a letter of intent confirming Kyivstar’s interest in procuring and deploying Rakuten Symphony's Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) technology in its network, which will involve both 4G and 5G technology.

Kyivstar invested UAH 1 billion (approximately 27.4 million) in Ukraine’s energy resilience, installing over 2,300 generators and 113,000 batteries to help keep its network running and customers connected, even when Ukraine’s power infrastructure is under attack.

Kyivstar invested in Helsi, the Ukraine’s leading digital healthcare platform, in August 2022. As of March 2024, Helsi has 2.5 million monthly active users on web and OTT platforms, serves nearly 1,600 medical institutions and more than 38,000 medical professionals, and has facilitated 2.5 million digital appointments in the first quarter of 2024.

Kyivstar continuously expands the use and capabilities of its self-care platform "myKyivstar" and TV application Kyivstar TV, with nearly 1.5 million monthly active users, and locally relevant content including educational resources.

In addition, Kyivstar supports Ukrainian businesses with integration of Amazon Web Services for data processing as well as with Microsoft Azure cloud services. Kyivstar’s Real-Time Kinematic technology is used in a wide range of professional applications, from agriculture to demining operations.

Kyivstar’s total customer support and CSR initiatives since February 2022 amounted to $50 million, including corporate donations and digital facilitation of customer donations to the Ukraine's demining, raising more than UAH 180 million ($4.8 million) from 2023 to 2024 for the "We Live Here" demining project of the Come Back Alive Foundation.