MTS Ukraine has decided to sell its majority-owned fixed broadband network operator Comstar Ukraine, reports newspaper Capital.ua, quoting the Ukrainian cellco’s CEO Ivan Zolochevskiy. In a 2009 ownership reorganisation MTS took a controlling stake in Comstar Ukraine and the following year began a process of MTS/Comstar integration and rebranding of consumer services (which eventually resulted in reducing Comstar staff from 120 to 70). Expanding from Comstar’s base in Odessa, in late 2011 Comstar Ukraine and MTS jointly launched a consumer fixed broadband service in capital Kiev and expanded the service to Illichevsk. Zolochevskiy disclosed the unit currently has a relatively small subscriber base of 18,000, of which about 7,000 use its IPTV service, but following a strategic rethink, he added that ‘we [MTS] prefer to focus on mobile communications … We are ready to sell the business, and already holding preliminary consultations with potential buyers in the market.’ The sale plan represents a complete U-turn after MTS/Comstar abandoned plans in 2012 to expand its fixed broadband presence by acquiring other regional internet service providers (ISPs).
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