As part of an ongoing five-year USD30 million investment programme, GNC-ALFA – the Armenian subsidiary owned by Russia’s Rostelecom – plans to expand its internet services to 90% of urban communities by the end of 2017. Speaking at the Novosti International press centre last week, GNC-ALFA chief executive Hayk Farmazyan said that, thanks to the Russian firm’s backing, the operator provides internet access to internet to residents in 15 cities across Armenia, as well as some districts of the capital Yerevan. Farmazyan added that not only is GNC-ALFA hoping to extend its network footprint to provide connectivity in the provinces, but it is also looking to provide VoIP telephony and IPTV. Last month, TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported Farmazyan as confirming his company’s plans to provide interactive IPTV services. The telco is working with another firm, Hybrid Solutions TV Translation Company, to deliver IPTV. ‘We, along with Hybrid Solutions, are announcing the launch of television services,’ Farmazyan was quoted as saying. ‘This is a new-generation innovative service. This technology is unprecedented in Armenia for the opportunity it provides to customers to enjoy television services regardless of what telecommunication operator serves them.’ GNC-ALFA intends to launch a range of tariff plans with a ‘Start’ package costing AMD4,000 (USD9.86) per month for 45 TV channels, rising to AMD8,000 for the ‘Premium’ 120-channel package.
Rostelecom is reportedly planning to invest USD12 million in Armenia in 2013, on the back of the USD10 million it spent in fiscal 2012, as it looks to secure a leading position in the Armenian telecoms market.