China’s Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group has made further inroads into the Ukrainian market with an agreement to invest about $400 million in the telecom and hi-tech projects of telecom operator Datagroup. Datagroup CEO Alexander Danchenko signed a memorandum of cooperation with his counterpart from Xinwei, Wang Jin.
A press release announcing the agreement was posted on Hi-tech.ua on September 19. The statement also noted the slow pace of development in Ukraine, citing a lack of transparency in licensing and the need for a unified development strategy.
“We cannot expect all necessary reforms in telecommunications from the Ukrainian government. While LTE technologies are being actively developed around the world, we cannot even solve the problems of issuing a 3G license,” Danchenko is quoted there as saying.
The press release stated that implementation of joint projects with Xinwei would depend on reforms in the Ukrainian telecom sector. The companies are looking to provide services to the government, business and the public. Datagroup will bring “technological solutions” to the projects.
The agreement also calls for training facilities to be set up at a Ukrainian educational institution that will be chosen on a competitive basis.
From Cambodia to Ukraine
According to Capital, a Ukrainian business publication, negotiations on the deal took place in Beijing, and the agreement was signed in Kyiv. On September 17, Xinwei opened the Ukraine House in Beijing, promising it “will become the largest and most authentic platform for communications and exchanges between China and Ukraine by taking the resource advantages of Xinwei and the Embassy of Ukraine in China.” Danchenko was among the guests at the gala opening.
Capital also reported on the talks between Datagroup and Xinwei in July, when Xinwei’s CooTel trademark was registered in Ukraine.
The Chinese company premiered its CooTel brand in Cambodia last year. It operates on the company’s proprietary McWill (Multi-Carrier Wireless Internet Local Loop) 4G technology. The cootel.com.ua domain – reserved even before the trademark was registered – has yet to go live, however.
Xinwei bought the Ukrainian ProSat company, which has a radio license for high-speed data transfer, in 2012.