New York and Stockholm - Tuesday, April 1, 2003 - Tele2 AB ("Tele2", "the Group") (Nasdaq Stock Market: TLTOA and TLTOB and Stockholmsbörsen: TEL2A and TEL2B), the leading alternative pan-European telecommunications company, today launched its first Russian GSM-network in Irkutsk under the Tele2 brand. This launch initiates the rollout of Tele2's GSM-networks in Russia, and the objective is to convert a further four networks by the end of 2003.
Tele2 currently holds twelve GSM-licenses in Russia, and offers mobile services in eleven Russian regions, which are being gradually rebranded to the Tele2 brand. Mobile penetration outside Moscow and St Petersburg is 6-7%, which is low relative to other markets, but is experiencing rapid growth. The number of mobile subscribers in Russia is expected to reach 35 million in 2003, up from 18 million at the end of 2002.
Tele2 is the second mobile operator to launch GSM-services in the Irkutsk region, which has a mobile penetration of 4%. Tele2's GSM-network in Irkutsk was launched today based on the GSM1800 standard, having similar coverage per base station as the GSM900 standard, by using a phased array antenna solution from Radio Components.
CAPEX for these GSM investments will be in the region of US$ 50-80 million during 2003.
Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, CEO of Tele2 said; "Russia represents a great opportunity for us, as the mobile market has substantial growth potential. With our existing mobile operations in eleven countries, we have the possibility to leverage on our substantial knowledge of mobile services".
Tele2 AB, formed in 1993, is the leading alternative pan-European telecommunications company offering fixed and mobile telephony, data network and Internet services under the brands Tele2, Tango and Comviq to over 16.8 million people in 22 countries. Tele2 operates Datametrix, which specializes in systems integration, 3C Communications, providing integrated credit card processing, web payment solutions and public payphones; Transac, providing billing and transaction processing service; C³, offering co-branded pre-paid calling cards and Optimal Telecom, the price-guaranteed residential router device. The Group offers cable television services and, together with MTG, owns the Internet portal Everyday.com. The Company is listed on the Stockholmsbörsen, under TEL2A and TEL2B, and on the Nasdaq Stock Market under TLTOA and TLTOB.
Lars-Johan Jarnheimer Telephone: + 46 8 562 640 00
President and CEO, Tele2 AB
Hakan Zadler Telephone: +46 8 562 640 00
CFO, Tele2 AB
Andrew Best/ Dwayne Taylor Telephone: + 44 20 7321 5022