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22 Mar 2001

Combellga and VimpelCom introduce new service package for corporate clients

Moscow (March 22, 2001) - Open Joint Stock Company "Vimpel-Communications" ("VimpelCom") (NYSE: VIP), a leading provider of wireless telecommunications service in Russia operating under the "Bee Line" family of brand names, and Russian Closed Joint Stock Company "Combellga" ("Combellga"), a leading operator of fixed telephone communications in Russia, announced today the introduction of joint Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) based services catering to corporate clients in the Russian market.

FMC combines the advantages of mobile communications and fixed lines into one service enabling clients to connect their mobile phones from Bee Line with Combellga fixed lines. The joint service will provide FMC clients with a simplified short number dialing to forward calls between fixed and mobile phones, which will keep subscribers in reach when they are not available on their fixed lines. Through this service, customers will be able to minimize their total expenses for corporate communications as well as for long-distance and international calls.

This FMC-based joint offering enables VimpelCom and Combellga to enlarge their corporate subscriber bases by merging existing clients and attracting new clients, which is expected to lead to an increase in total traffic and revenues.

"This is just the first hi-tech service from a wide range of services we are planning to offer our clients," said Alexander Kozhanov, General Director of Combellga.

"This is another telecommunications solution that we offer to make our clients' businesses more effective and our services more attractive to an expanded customer base. The FMC-based technology allows our subscribers to use a single phone number regardless of where they are," added Mr. Jan Erik Horgen, VimpelCom's Vice President and Head of the Product Division.

The introduction of this joint service in the Russian market was made possible with the assistance of Telenor AS, Norway's leading telecommunications company and a strategic partner of both VimpelCom and Combellga.

VimpelCom is a leading wireless telecommunications service company in Russia, operating under the Bee Line family of brand names, which are among the most recognized brand names in Russia. VimpelCom's license portfolio covers approximately 70% of Russia's population (100 million people), including the City of Moscow and the Moscow Region, which is the Company's primary market. VimpelCom was the first Russian company to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"). VimpelCom's ADSs are listed on the NYSE under the symbol "VIP". VimpelCom's convertible notes are listed on the NYSE under the symbol "VIP 05".

Combellga is one of the leading Russian fixed line operators that has worked in the market since 1991. Combellga provides a full spectrum of solutions in the field of fixed communications, Internet-services and corporate networks. The Central bank of the Russian Federation, the Savings Bank, Sidanko, Lukoil, U.S. Embassy and embassies of many countries of Europe, representation of UNICEF, well-known international news agencies, leading corporations such as Motorola, General Electric, ABB, Philips, LG Electronics, American Express, IBM, KPMG, ICN Pharmaceuticals, twelve out of the sixteen largest Moscow hotels - in all more than 8 thousand corporate and individual clients use Combellga's services.

 

This informational statement contains "forward-looking statements", as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements relate to the Company's development and are based on Management's best assessment of the Company's strategic and financial position and of future market conditions and trends. These discussions involve risks and uncertainties. The actual outcome may differ materially from these statements as a result of unforeseen developments from competition, governmental regulations of the wireless telecommunications industry, general political uncertainties in Russia and general economic developments in Russia and other factors. As a result of such risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the effects of competition or current or future changes in the political, economic and social environment or current or future regulation of the Russian telecommunications industry will not have a material adverse effect on the VimpelCom Group. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any forward-looking statements include the risks described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 1999 and other public filings made by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference. VimpelCom disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

 

For more information, please contact:

Eugeny Balanov, Alexei Efimov "Combellga"
Department of press and information
T. (095)931-9950, F. (095)937-3795

Valery Goldin
VimpelCom (Moscow)
7(095) 974-5888
vgoldin@vimpelcom.com

Mikhail Umarov, Press secretary
VimpelCom
T. +7 095 725 0742
Mumarov@beeline.ru

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