Lycamobile is to launch an MVNO service in Ukraine “imminently” after striking a deal with Ukrtelecom.

The company will use the incumbent’s 3Mob mobile network as it looks to take market share from the likes of VF Ukraine, KyivStar and lifecell.

An exact launch date for the service and financial details were not disclosed.

The launch takes Lycamobile’s total presence to 22 countries worldwide.

The company, which specialises in offering affordable international calling, serves 15 million customers.

It is the second Eastern European country is has targeted, having launched operations in Macedonia last year.

Allirajah Subaskaran, Chairman of Lycamobile parent company Lyca Group, said: “As one of the most important markets in Eastern Europe, we look forward to helping Ukraine’s growing and active customer base to connect with their loved ones both at home and abroad.”

Yuriy Kurmaz, CEO of Ukrtelecom, said the partnership created a new opportunity for 3Mob.

“Existing barriers on calls between networks and the significant market power of Ukraine’s largest mobile operators has historically limited the development of the country’s smaller operators,” he said.

“Through this partnership with Lycamobile, a strong international player, Ukrainians will now have access to low cost data, calling and texting services, a considerable move towards removing communications barriers for customers in the region.”

Last year, Lycamobile launched m-payment, OTT messaging and TV services in a bid to become what Subaskaran called a “full service multimedia platform”.

In February this year, it signed a new MVNO deal with Telenet in Belgium and bought the cable and broadband provider’s subsidiary Ortel Mobile.

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