MTS blog


Thursday, October 09, 2014

In H1 2014, MTS sustained its leadership in the Russian mobile services B2G market. During the period the number of government agencies using MTS’s mobile, convergent and fixed-line services increased by 35% year-over-year. The Company’s success in the government tenders reflects its investments in the development of next-generation networks throughout Russia, and Company’s ability to develop tailored products for its current and prospective customers. MTS also benefited from an inflow of customers in the government sector as a result of the introduction of Mobile Number Portability in 2014.

In H1 2014, MTS signed contracts with the Ministry of Public Administration, IT and Telecommunications of the Moscow region and St. Petersburg Committee for Development of Information Technologies and Telecommunications, among others. Most recently, MTS renewed its contract with the State Duma which has been MTS’s customer since 2008.

In 2013-2014, MTS installed and upgraded over 1,500 base stations, femtocells and indoor solutions to improve network quality and coverage for corporate and government customers. Over 30% of the upgrades were made as a part of MTS’s investment program to enhance network performance for prospective customers. Overall, MTS remains the market leader in the Russian B2B sector with a 40% market share by subscribers as of Q1 2014, according to a recent report by Advanced Communications & Media (AC&M), a leading Moscow-based management consulting and research agency specialized in telecommunications and media.



Thursday, October 09, 2014

Andrei Dubovskov, President and CEO of MTS, has been ranked 33rd in the 2014 annual ranking of the most powerful managers in the global telecom industry, up from 59th place in the 2013 ranking. According to the report, “Under his leadership, MTS refocused its marketing activities on increasing customer loyalty and reducing costs of subscriber additions, enabling the company to reduce churn by 6% in 2013. During his tenure Dubovskov has further strengthened MTS’ position in the industry having set in place and implemented a number of initiatives including the enhancement of 3G networks and rolling out 4G networks throughout Russia and the ongoing deployment of GPON in Moscow.” Andrei is the only Russian manager included in the 2014 ranking.

September-October issue of the Global Telecoms Business features an interview with Andrei Dubovskov recorded in mid-September, Andrei talks about ongoing modernization of the mobile networks in Russia and the Company’s success in GPON deployment in Moscow. In the same issue Alexey Kornya, MTS Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, comments on how new accounting rules under US GAAP and IFRS may impact the Company’s reporting.

You can access the full text of the issue online 

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Advanced Communications & Media (AC&M), a leading Moscow-based management consulting and research agency specialized in telecommunications and media, published a report recently on the B2B market in Russia. 

Key findings include:

As of the end of Q1 2014, the total number of active SIM cards used by corporate customers reached 19.4 million. MTS is the market leader in the segment and boasts more than 40% market share by subscribers.

At the end of Q1 2014, the total number of corporate users of mobile Internet and data transfer services in Russia amounted to 7 million SIM cards or 36% of total B2B SIM cards. MTS demonstrates the highest penetration of mobile Internet and data transfer services in the corporate subscriber base.

In 2013, the total number of М2М connections in Russia increased by 54% to over 3.7 million SIM cards or approximately 1.5% of total active SIM cards in Russia. MTS again showcases its success in the market and innovative services by demonstrating more than 65% share of the M2M SIM market.

Click here for the full report.

2014-09 ACM B2B REPORT 1Q2014.pdf (918.26 kb)



Thursday, October 02, 2014

We have recently published an English-language version of our 2013 Report on Sustainable Development, which details how changes in MTS’s strategy have impacted its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. 

In 2013, as we continued transitioning  from a voice-based solutions focus into a truly integrated communications operator, our CSR strategy expanded to not only focus on issues such as community support, education and environmental protection, but also responsible use of data. We are proud of this evolution and of our CSR impact in 2013, which included earmarking RUB 829 million (USD 23 million) for charitable goals and programs.

MTS ties its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy to its goal of improving people’s quality of life and encouraging social progress. From 2009 to 2013, MTS had based its strategy on three themes analogous to its 3i Strategy – integration, and long-term support to local communities; Internet by focusing on safe and beneficial access to and use of the worldwide web; and innovation by embracing new ideas and supporting youth talent. In 2014, as the Company now embraces its new role as an integrated communications operator with an expanded focus on mobile and Internet, its CSR strategy will focus on data through its support of new ideas, youth talent and responsible use of Internet and mobile communications; differentiation by supporting programs designed to expand services and improve quality; and dividends through the standardization of CSR processes and emphasis on greater transparency.

Highlights from the 2013 Report on Sustainable Development include:

·         MTS spent RUB 829 million (USD23 million) in contributions toward charitable initiatives, many which primarily assist and support children.


·         MTS continued to support the “Eco-Office” project, a program that educates stakeholders about sustainability and the environment. In 2013, the Company implemented the following projects throughout its facilities and offices in Russia and the CIS: the collection of batteries and recyclables; MTS’s “Save a Tree” campaign, the “Living Planet” drawing contest for children, the “Eco-Airlift” Saturday cleanup, and an international flower and garden festival.

·         MTS continued its “Web for All Ages” program, which aims to enhance Internet literacy of people over the age of 40, and popularize modern information technologies and helpful online services.

·         MTS continued its support of the Deti Online (Children Online) program in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation, the RF Ministry of Education and Science, the Safe Internet League and others. It focuses on highlighting the rules of safe and beneficial Internet use among children, parents and educators. Since the program’s inception in 2011, more than 200,000 people have participated in the initiative’s measures, such as interactive themed exhibitions at Russia’s leading museums and libraries, Internet literacy classes for young schoolchildren, and teacher seminars.

·         MTS, in partnership with its parent company, Sistema JSFC, and Ministry of Telecommunications of the Russian Federation, hosted the third “Telecom Idea” competition that supports open innovations and aims to encourage the involvement of students, young scientists, designers and startup-entrepreneurs with MTS. The event focused on the utilization of broadband mobile and fixed Internet capabilities as well as the monetization of data transmission.


For additional information, please see the full report



Friday, September 12, 2014

We have issued a report on mobile retail in Russia during Q2 and H1 2014, based on the estimates from our mobile retail network.

Highlights from the report:

- In Q2 2014, the number of phones sold in Russia increased by 4.97% compared to Q2 2013 with 9.39 mln devices sold

- In Q2 2014, the mobile handset market in Russia expanded by 7.87% in sales compared to Q2 2013 to reach RUB 52.87 bln

- In Q2 2014, the smartphone market increased by 17.65% compared to Q2 2013 with 5.52 mln smartphones sold

- In Q2 2014, the smartphone market expanded by 40.55% in terms of sales compared to Q2 2013 to reach RUB 43.36 bln

Please download the complete report here

 Q2_2014_Retail_Report.pdf (1.25 mb)



Thursday, September 11, 2014

We are pleased to share recently published results regarding network performance in Russia.  Based on over 2.3 million measurements taken by mobile subscribers throughout Russia using the application ‘Speedtest’, which was developed by Ookla, MTS has once again outperformed its peers.  As in the previous report for the first nine months of 2013, MTS demonstrated higher average downlink and uplink speeds throughout Russia and in large cities like Moscow.  Overall, the report states that MTS operates the fastest LTE networks in Russia with an average downlink speed of 20.5 Mbs.


Please see below the link to the full report. 

Speedtest.pdf (136.52 kb)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

MTS has become the first company in Russia and the third globally to have completed testing of Carrier Aggregation Technology over 30 MHz of bandwidth spanning the 1800 MHz and the 2600 MHz ranges. 

Carrier Aggregation Technology is a key component of LTE-Advanced and used to increase bandwidth and in turn improve network speed and performance.  The tests demonstrated how MTS can increase mobile Internet speeds using existing spectrum in multiple bandwidths up to 225 mbps. The tests were conducted  in the region of Bashkortostan on a commercially launched LTE network constructed by Ericsson. USB modems from Huawei and smartphones from Samsung, which MTS sells throughout its retail chains, were used during the tests.

Using LTE at the 1800 MHz range gives MTS a number of advantages in terms of network planning and development: it increases network penetration and coverage and allows MTS to repurpose equipment and infrastructure already utilized for GSM networks. The launch of LTE networks over the 1800 MHz range will enable Company to provide high-speed Internet access to all of the population centers in Bashkortostan with population over 2,000 people.

MTS expects to launch LTE-Advanced technologies throughout Russia to more efficiently utilize its existing spectrum and optimize its future capital expenditures.



Friday, August 29, 2014
Subscribers (mln)June 30,  2014

Macrh 31,  2014

Total consolidated subscribers, mln 104.73 103.30 1.43 1.4%
Russia 77.27 76.11 1.16 1.5%
Ukraine* 23.07 22.79 0.28 1.2%
Armenia 2.45 2.45 0.05 0.2%
Turkmenistan 1.94 1.96 -0.02 -0.8%
MTS Belarus** 5.39 5.37 0.02 0.4%


Subscriber data for Russian mobile operators is compiled by Advanced Communications and Media, a management consulting and research agency specializing in telecommunications and media. You can view their Q2 2014 subscriber report here.
* Including CDMA subscribers
** MTS owns a 49% stake in Mobile TeleSystems LLC, a mobile operator in Belarus, which is not consolidated.



Thursday, July 03, 2014

Akamai, a leading provider of cloud services, released its State of the Internet Report for Q1 2014.  The report reveals strong growth in the fixed and mobile broadband speeds in Russia. 

 In Q1 2014, the average broadband speed – which is defined as connections at the speeds above 4Mbps – in Russia reached 8.2 Mbps, an increase of 15% quarter-on-quarter and 44% year-on-year. By this metric, Russia ranks 22nd overall globally and ahead of other European countries, such as Germany, France and Italy.  Overall adoption of broadband in Russia is at 77%, again ahead of many developed countries in the EMEA region. In terms of average peak broadband speeds Russia fares better; Russia ranks 16th in the global ranking with an average speed of 41.3 Mbps.  The study further registers growing penetration of “high broadband” in Russia, with 27% of connections at above the 10 Mbps threshold. This represents an increase of 123% from the previous year. 

While there’s no universally adopted methodology for measuring broadband speed and Akamai data for Russia might have been affected by erroneous identification of some of the mobile connections as fixed, which has happened before with Akamai measurements, the results of the study showcases a growing trend of greater penetration of high-speed Internet access throughout the region. According to the IKS-consulting data for Q1 2014, 49% of households in Russia had broadband connections while in Moscow fixed broadband penetration reached 86%. MTS contributed to this growth by wiring 2.3 mln households in Moscow to its GPON (Gigabyt-capable Optic Passive Network). As of the end of the first quarter MTS’s subsidiary MGTS had more than 330,000 households using Internet and Pay TV services via GPON at the speeds up to 300 Mbps.       

In terms of mobile connections, Akamai’s measurements revealed an average speed of 6.1 Mbps and an average peek speed of 35.1 Mbps. Once again, Russia places higher than in other European countries, including Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. These results reflect continued modernization of MTS’s 3G networks using HSPA+ and Multi Carrier technology and aggressive roll-out of 4G/LTE networks. In April 2014, MTS successfully activated the Third Carrier on 2,000 base stations working in the 2100 MHz range, which enables MTS to raise peak speeds to 63 Mbps.  The launch of LTE networks in 28 out of 83 of the Russia’s regions now expands access to high-speed broadband at speeds of up to 75 Mbps to millions of the Russian customers. 

As LTE-enabled devices become more popular (e.g. in Q1 2014 LTE-enabled smartphones accounted for 12.6% of smartphones sales in Russia, according to our estimates), we expect data transfer speeds to increase further and drive mobile Internet usage growth.  Recent regulatory decisions to allow operators like MTS to provide LTE services over 1800 MHz bandwith should also improve penetration of high-speed mobile internet access and in turn further showcase MTS’s core markets as a global leader in telecommunications and Internet services.

[1] Methodology used by Akamai to measure the speeds for the purpose of this report is described in detail in this blog post 



Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Andrei Ushatskiy, MTS Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer, was interviewed by RCR Wireless News. Andrei commented on how MTS is leveraging big data, the challenges MTS is facing in its key markets and the areas where Company sees growth opportunities. Click here to read the interview.