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18 Dec 2000

VimpelCom launches "BeeOnLine" Portal

Monthly subscription fee introduced

Moscow and New York (December 18, 2000) - Open Joint Stock Company "Vimpel-Communications" ("VimpelCom" or the "Company") (NYSE: VIP), a leading provider of mobile telecommunications services in Russia, announced today that it has started commercial operations of "BeeOnline" multi-access portal ("BeeOnline Portal") offering Personal Digital Services" to "Bee Line" mobile subscribers. The Portal provides access to four basic content and information channels: news, finance, entertainment and general information.

BeeOnline Portal has gained popularity among Bee Line subscribers since its experimental launch on June 29, 2000. During the six month test period, approximately 45,000 subscribers registered for the service. Currently, BeeOnline Portal is available to Bee Line postpaid subscribers and, in the near future, this service will be available to all Bee Line subscribers including Bee+ prepaid customers. Subscribers may now sign-up either from their mobile phones (via SMS by dialing 684-684-002) or via Bee Line's call center. The monthly subscription fee, beginning December 15, 2000, is $9.99 including tax.

Content and service providers include Prime-TASS, RosBusinessConsulting, NTV-Internet, Computerra, Intermedia, Afisha, SOTA, Business On-line, as well as BeeOnline and VimpelCom. The news and finance channels offered include exchange rates of basic currencies, Russian Trading System (RTS) stock quotes, major international stock indices and financial news. The entertainment channels offered include weather, horoscopes, jokes, anecdotes and quotes from famous personalities, as well as Moscow cinema and nightclub guides and reviews. In addition, the functionality of the BeeOnLine Portal includes a mobile e-mail service, "BeePost", which has been launched on a test basis.

BeeOnline Portal also launched a unique SMS location based directory service. This service allows subscribers to select a Metro station and a particular service, and receive the name, address and phone number of the service providers located closest to the Metro station. The service provides a choice of more than 140 different services, including restaurants, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and auto repair shops. The database consists of over 110,000 participating service providers.

"The launch of BeeOnline Portal which offers unique services, even as compared with services offered in Europe, validates the Company's leadership position as an innovator in the Russian cellular marketplace," said Nikolai Prianishnikov, First Vice President of VimpelCom, "We are pleased to offer our subscribers Personal Digital Services which will help improve their lifestyles."

VimpelCom's Vice President of Product Development, Jan Erik Horgen, added, "The BeeOnline Portal is unmatched in the Russian cellular market in terms of variety and quality of Personal Digital Service offerings. Mobile phones are no longer only a tool for voice communications; we are making them the source of instant information, entertainment and knowledge."

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".

This press release 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:
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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