Ukrainian Mobile Communications (UMC) plans to launch a rebranding campaign to strengthen its market position next year, parent Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) told a press conference yesterday. UMC, Ukraine’s second largest cellco, currently operates under two brands, Sim-Sim and JEANS, but from the second quarter of 2007 it plans to take on the branding of its 100% owner.
Russian cellular market leader MTS launched a domestic rebranding campaign in May when it introduced a new logo, a white egg inside a red square. It hopes the branding switch will help slow its recent steady loss of market share in Ukraine and eventually reverse the trend. Other measures which it plans to undertake to strengthen UMC’s position include improving service quality and expanding its network coverage. UMC’s capital expenditure almost doubled year-on-year in the third quarter of 2006 to USD203 million, whilst it is implementing cost-cutting measures to improve financial results. Its average subscriber acquisition cost fell to USD9.7 in July-September from USD12.7 in April-June and USD15.7 in 3Q 2005. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, UMC’s market share fell from 55% at mid-2004 to 42.4% at end-June 2006, and is reported to have fallen further to 41% at the end of September 2006.