Viettel Strengthens Global Portfolio with Acquisition of Beeline Cambodia as Part of Its Global Expansion Plans
Cambodia, 11/03/2015 – Viettel (Cambodia) Pte. Ltd. (Metfone) announced that it has reached an agreement for the purchase of Sotelco Ltd. (Beeline Cambodia) assets and telecom licenses including but not limited to its 2G, 3G and 4G frequency licenses. This milestone deal, the first time a Vietnamese company has acquired an active telecom operator overseas, is part of the global expansion strategy that the company is embarking on.
“Our investment in Beeline Cambodia perfectly aligns with our global vision and growth plan, which is to become a leading telecom company by 2020. We are constantly looking for further investment opportunities with telecom operators in any part of the world and we’ve set ourselves a target of investing in 20 countries by 2020,” said Mr. Tao Duc Thang, General Director of Viettel Global.
With the purchase of Beeline’s assets and telecom licenses, the deal solidifies Viettel as the leading mobile operator in Cambodia, accounting for 50% market share and the biggest fixed and Internet service provider covering 96% nationwide including the nation’s most remote and isolated areas. New and existing consumers will stand to benefit from Metfone’s leading network reach and capabilities, which includes:
As part of its business strategy for Cambodia, Viettel will look at enhancing and developing the country’s telecommunications infrastructure with the addition of 4G and 5G services in the future.
“Today’s announcement is an important milestone for us, as we build on enhancing our network availability and quality, and extending our range of products and services in Cambodia. Customers can look forward to enjoying even better quality and coverage, higher speeds, value-added services, and access to 4G services in the near future. We will continue to develop the infrastructure and our capabilities in Cambodia to provide users with technologically advanced, affordable and reliable solutions,” said Mr. Thang.
The transaction which has received regulatory approvals will be completed in two stages. Scheduled to be completed in 4 months, the transaction process will see the transfer of licenses in the first stage and transfer of assets in the second stage. Under the agreement, Beeline and Metfone will collaborate and provide support for Beeline Cambodia subscribers to register onto Metfone’s network.
Viettel has invested more than USD 1.5 billion in 9 markets over the last 10 years and today connects over 260 million people in markets in South America, Africa and Asia. It provides telecom services in Cambodia, Laos, Timor-Leste, Haiti, Mozambique and two new markets in Peru and Cameroon launched a few months ago. It is also involved in infrastructure development in Burundi and Tanzania and is expected to launch services later this year.
Headquartered in Hanoi, Vietnam, Viettel is one of the world’s fastest growing telecom operators. It has been well known as a pioneer who has ushered in a telecommunications revolution in just a few years, transforming telecom services to a commodity for all social classes and to all rural and remote areas. Viettel is placed among the top 15 telecom companies in terms of cellular connections (ranked by GSMA’s Wireless Intelligence). At the end of 2014, Viettel is providing services in 10 countries across Asia, Africa and America with 260 million population and 75 million customers, bringing the total revenue of US$9.8 billion and US$2 billion profit in 2014, ranking among the top largest enterprises of Vietnam.
Metfone is the largest telecommunications company in Cambodia, accounting for 50% of the mobile market with $4.3 million customers and largest telecommunications infrastructure in Cambodia. Metfone’s revenue in 2014 was over $300 million.
Launched in mid-May in 2009, Sotelco Ltd. (Beeline Cambodia) has been the fast growing mobile operator providing coverage network with most attractive tariffs and quality services for Beeline subscribers in 24 provinces. After its commercial launch, Beeline has become one of the preferred telecommunication brands in the country. The number of Beeline Cambodia users fell from 1.1 million in 2012 to 500,000 by the end of 2013.