Belarusian fixed network operator Atlant Telecom and its subsidiary TeleSet, both of which were purchased from ZUBR Capital and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) by A1 Telekom Austria Group (TAG), through a deal brokered in December 2016, will be transferred to a single legal entity – unitary enterprise (UE) VELCOM – effective 1 December 2017. In the wake of last year’s acquisition, TAG began the process of integrating the two firms into its Belarusian mobile venture Mobile Digital Communications (branded velcom). Initially, a vehicle called ‘Velkom ACS’ was created after the merger of Atlant and velcom, although the Atlant and TeleSat brandings were retained. From the start of next month, however, all services will be provided under the unified VELCOM banner.
At a wider level, TAG announced earlier this month that it intends to phase in the A1 brand – currently used in its domestic market and Slovenia – across its entire European operations. The firm says the move aims to provide its more than 24 million customers with a coherent brand experience for all offers in all markets and to strengthen its position for the expected consolidation of the European telecoms markets. ‘In the fragmented European telecommunications markets, the Telekom Austria Group aims at fostering its perception as a powerful international company by means of a unified brand,’ commented Alejandro Plater, CEO and COO of the Telekom Austria Group, adding: ‘At present, even the group’s own companies alone count more than ten different brands. This underlines the need for investing all bundled efforts in one strong unified market presence.’