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Russia’s VimpelCom decides against making own Internet messenger

May 30, 2014, 15:11 UTC+3 s ¶ ¶ MOSCOW
Despite the fact that such services as WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram eat part of revenue, VimpelCom offsets losses at the expense of raising the number of mobile Internet users
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Mikhail Slobodin

Mikhail Slobodin

© ITAR-TASS/Boris Kavashkin

MOSCOW, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian mobile operator VimpelCom, operating under the Beeline brand, has no plans to create its own Internet messenger, a service to exchange messages, files, and video calls, though the idea is still being discussed, the company’s CEO Mikhail Slobodin said late Thursday.

“We are studying the matter, and I think that we will unlikely make our own messenger…None of telecom operators has been successful in creating its own messenger,” Slobodin said.

Despite the fact that such services as WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram eat part of revenue, VimpelCom offsets losses at the expense of raising the number of mobile Internet users.

MTS, one of the main rivals of VimpelCom, announced in March that it will launch so-called rich communications services (RCS), enabling subscribers to exchange messages, files, and make calls via the Internet. MTS was reported to have agreed with VimpelCom on support. Investments in the system will exceed 100 million rubles.

VimpelCom is one of the largest operators in Russia. VimpelCom Ltd.’s major owner is Altimo, managing telecommunications assets of Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa-Group, owning 47.85%, and Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor with 42.95%.

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