VimpelCom, one of the world’s leading providers of wireless telecommunications services, announced Monday that it has struck a U.S. $1 billion deal with Ericsson through which the Swedish equipment maker will modernize infrastructure and software to bring customers and regions served by VimpelCom under a common streamlined IT system. 

Netherlands-based VimpelCom, whose top shareholder is controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, counted 200 million subscribers at the end of 2015 throughout Russia, Italy, and twelve other nations in Asia and Africa.  The “Digital Stack” project envisions the complete overhaul of VimpelCom’s IT and business support system infrastructure across eleven nations using Ericsson software and cloud technologies, with the resulting cloud-based digital system to be managed and operated by Ericsson. 

Amidst these upgrades, VimpelCom is also gearing up for the launch of fourth- and fifth-generation wireless broadband services that will support new mobile entertainment, financial and business offerings.  As Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg predicted that the new digital support infrastructure will allow VimpelCom to launch new products in a matter of hours, VimpelCom CEO Jean-Yves Charlier declared: “the new Digital Stack will help us better respond to our customers . . . creating lean and agile operations that will result in a more efficient cost structure across our global footprint.”