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29 Jun 2000

VimpelCom introduces "BeeOnLine" Portal

Multi-Access solution for Wireless, Internet and Broadband

Moscow and New York (June 29, 2000) - Open Joint Stock Company "Vimpel-Communications" ("VimpelCom" or the "Company") (NYSE:VIP) today announced that it has formed a new company "Bee Online" Portal that plans to create the first Russian language multi-access portal providing Personal Digital Services SM across telecommunications platforms including wireless, fixed line and broadband networks, as well as across other emerging delivery platforms. Vladimir Preobrajensky, former Vice President for Corporate Development of VimpelCom, has been appointed CEO of Bee Online.

Bee Online will develop, aggregate and offer time-sensitive Personal Digital ServicesSM including Internet content, news, information, entertainment, electronic and mobile commerce. The Bee Online marketing, distribution and promotions will benefit from association with our widely recognized "Bee Line" family of brand names. Bee Online also plans to introduce pre-paid "e-wallets", leveraging VimpelCom's mass market distribution network with over 1000 points of sales.

As of today, Russian content partners for Bee Online include Media Most's NTV Internet, Prime TASS and Interfax news services, FinMarket financial services, and RosBusinessConsulting. Bee Online is in discussions with other potential partners to expand its range of offerings. Today's Personal Digital ServicesSM include Russian and international news, currency quotes, flight schedules, anecdotes and jokes, horoscopes, web-to-SMS messaging and personal schedule organizer.

Jo Lunder, Chief Operating Officer of VimpelCom and Vice Chairman of Bee Online said, "Bee Online is a key strategic tool in VimpelCom offering innovative and personalized services to our current subscribers and in attracting new subscribers. With the experience base we have from our partner Telenor, one of the most advanced operators in WAP and GPRS, we are uniquely positioned to lead the Internet and wireless convergence in Russia."

During the first phase of the Bee Online introduction, the Personal Digital ServicesSM will be initially available only to VimpelCom's over half a million customers, and will be free of charge for the first three months. Subscribers can sign up for Bee Online at www.beeonline.ru.

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".

 

This press release contains "forward-looking statements," as that 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:
Valery Goldin
VimpelCom (Moscow)
7(095) 974-5888
vgoldin@vimpelcom.com

Sigrid Peterson
Edelman Financial Worldwide
1 (212) 704 8284
sigrid_peterson@edelman.com

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