MTS blog


Saturday, March 21, 2015

We are pleased to share results of measurements taken during 2014 by mobile subscribers throughout Russia using the popular application ‘Speedtest’, which was developed by Ookla.

Based on over 7.7 million measurements conducted from January to December 2014, MTS can demonstrate leadership in data transfer speeds across Russia. The average downlink speed recorded on MTS’s 2G/3G/LTE networks across Russia during 2014 was 8% higher than the average of its competitors.  In Moscow, MTS’s networks deliver speeds, which exceed the average of its competitors by 13%.

In 2014, MTS installed over 15,000 3G and LTE sites throughout Russia. By the end of the year, MTS offers LTE services in 76 regions of Russia, while over 85% of its 3G network was enabled by Dual-Carrier HSPA+. MTS’s fiber networks grew to 160,000 km as MTS continues its focus on developing data markets throughout the region.

See below the the full report.

_Speedtest 2014_ (6).pdf (122.64 kb)

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Friday, February 27, 2015

We have published a report which looks into mobile traffic consumption patterns based on data from the 13 most popular Apple and Samsung smartphone models on the MTS network.

Key findings:

  • Social networks account for roughly half of all traffic generated by these users (i.e. 54% for Apple users, 47% for Samsung owners)
  • Video streaming or downloading accounts for up to a third of traffic among these users 
  • While overall traffic patterns on Samsung and Apple devices are broadly similar in terms of the types of applications used, we noticed some marked differences, namely that Samsung users are more active on messaging and video-services, while iOS users spend more time on social networks

Click here to download the full report.


Mobile | Retail, devices


Thursday, February 19, 2015

We have now launched LTE networks in the 1800 MHz range in Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. The new LTE-1800 network complements our existing networks in the 2600 MHz and 800 MHz ranges to ensure greater coverage throughout the region.  The network also allows us to off-load traffic from our 3G networks to provide higher data transfer speeds for all MTS customers in the region.
Around 10% of the LTE base stations in the areas of peak demand in central St. Petersburg and the larger population centers of the Leningrad Region currently support 1800 MHz range networks. We plan to extend the LTE-1800 network’s coverage across the other regions of the North-Western Federal District over the course of 2015. 
In 2014, we established LTE network coverage throughout Saint Petersburg, including its suburbs as well as in over 100 population centers across the Leningrad Region, increasing the total number of base stations in the region by 40%.
Previously, MTS launched LTE-1800 networks in the Moscow Region and in Ufa. Overall, by the end of 2014, MTS operated LTE networks in 76 of Russia’s 85 regions.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Light Reading’s interview with Vasyl Latsanych, our Chief Marketing Officer is an interesting discussion focussing on the differentiation in our 3D strategy (data, differentiation, dividends) and the resilience of our business against what is a challenging macro-economic backdrop. Using our Q3 2014 figures the interview highlights our leadership in mobile, with the largest subscriber base and fastest subscriber growth year on year among the Big 3 and our continuing track record in growing smartphone sales and their penetration as a percentage of all mobile phones on our network towards the 40% level in 2014- which we are doing by developing our own branded high quality devices cost efficiently in partnership with manufacturers as well as continuing to expand our 4G and LTE networks.

Vasyl explains how the broadband opportunity in Moscow is at the core of MTS’s differentiated story. We have been replacing copper with state of the art GPON since 2011 and aim to convert 90% of MGTS’s 4.4 million lines in Moscow and the region by end 2015, over 80% of all Moscow households. As well as enabling high speed broadband, Vasyl says the GPON network will provide a platform to launch more sophisticated IPTV services, incorporating video-on-demand and catch up programming which will be more intuitive, simpler to use and better value than the services our competitors have at present. The interview picks up the importance of our differentiation in this area to our top line performance, driving overall Q3 2014 fixed line revenue growth of 2.6% year on year.

The article also puts our satellite TV strategy into context, with some 18.6 million Russians expected to use satellite TV by 2018, up from 13.1 million in 2013 and Analysys Mason citing our plans for nationwide pay-TV coverage in rural areas as a clear advantage.

The success of our unique approach to mobile financial services is also highlighted as a key differentiator and Vasyl sees a potential in further combining our mobile and banking activities and in fusing our satellite and 4G technologies as we continue to roll them out.

Light Reading concludes “If MTS can build a compelling advantage through service and technology convergence, while avoiding the margin pressure that service bundling entails, its investors will certainly have reason for cheer.”

You can view the full article here:



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In 2014, we expanded our network by 20% through the installation of 15,000 3G and LTE base stations. By the end of the year, MTS launched LTE networks in 76 of Russia’s 85 regions. 


During the year, we continued to enhance our 2G and 3G networks and realized total population coverage of 98% by the end of the year. Over 80% of 3G base stations on our network now deliver speeds of 42 Mb/s, the fastest data transfer speed commercially available, through the deployment of Dual-Cell HSPA+. The remaining 3G base stations run on HSPA+ standard and deliver speeds up to 21 Mb/s.


In 2014, mobile data traffic on MTSs networks increased 1.7 times in Russia. The highest growth in the mobile traffic consumption was registered in the North-West and Moscow regions, where traffic grew 2.2 and 2 times respectively. In Moscow, the volume of the LTE traffic increased 13 times year-over-year due to network development and growing penetration of LTE-enabled smartphones, tablets and dongles. The traffic growth was also aided by Apples decision to enable LTE-TDD network for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, as well as older iPhone 5S and 5C models.


The total length of our fiber-optic lines reached 160,000 km in 2014. The increase was driven by the construction of long distance lines in the regions and the aggressive build-out of the Gigabit-capable Passive Optic Network (GPON) in Moscow, where the total length of the lines increased to 40,000 km. GPON is capable of delivering high-speed broadband and digital TV to 3.5 million Moscow households. During the year the number of the households passed doubled while the volume of internet traffic on our network increased by 45%.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

With the holiday period behind us, we decided to analyze how usage patterns of customers travelling abroad changed this season. One key trend we witnessed was an overall lower usage of voice and SMS in international roaming, which was driven mainly by a fall in the number of Russian tourists traveling abroad. Nevertheless, overall usage of mobile data increased due to the greater adoption of smartphones and more frequent utilization of tariffs that provide a fixed price per day, which allows subscribers to better control data roaming expenses.


We compared usage trends when roaming from 15th December 2014 to 15th January 2015 to the same period last year.  During this period, the number of international roamers declined by 25%, the volume of calls decreased by 26% and the volume of sent SMS fell by 28%.  At the same time, the number of smartphones used in the roaming abroad grew 1.5 times and the volume of the roaming data traffic increased by 23%.  Likely, this implies a greater usage of social media and OTT solutions at the expense of voice and messaging services, a trend we see both at home and abroad.


Those who travelled abroad actually broadened their Internet usage from essential browsing (e.g. maps, tourist guides and email) to more traffic-intensive use of social media and entertainment sites. The proportion of Internet traffic for social purposes during this time almost matched essential browsing traffic, reaching 30% and 35% respectively. This is another illustration of how social media use on smartphones is moving deeper into our customer segments regardless of their location.



Monday, December 29, 2014

We have issued a report on mobile retail in Russia during Q3, based on the estimates from our mobile retail network.

Highlights from the report:

- In Q3 2014, the number of phones sold in Russia increased by 5.2% compared to Q3 2013 with 12.26 mln devices sold

- In Q3 2014, the mobile handset market in Russia expanded by 12.1% in sales compared to Q3 2013 to reach RUB 67.99 bln

- In Q3 2014, the smartphone market increased by 38.7% compared to Q3 2013 with 7.51 mln smartphones sold

- In Q3 2014, the smartphone market expanded by 21.9% in terms of sales compared to Q3 2013 to reach RUB 60.10 bln

Please download the complete report here

Retail Report Q3_2014.pdf (1.58 mb)


Mobile | Retail, devices | Russia


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

We are pleased to share recently published results of measurements taken by mobile subscribers throughout Russia using the popular application ‘Speedtest’, which was developed by Ookla. Based on over 1.8 million measurements conducted from July to September 2014, MTS has once again demonstrated its leadership in network speeds across Russia. The average downlink speed registered on MTS’s 2G/3G/LTE networks across Russia during Q3 2014 was 20% higher than the average of its competitors.  The results further demonstrate that MTS operates the fastest LTE networks in Moscow with an average downlink speed of 20.3 MB/s, while MTS subscribers in areas ranging from St Petersburg to the Urals and the Far East enjoy faster network speeds relative to their peers on other networks.


You can download the Q3 report below and see a link to our previous report on Speedtest measurements in this post.

Speedtest_v1_14-III (3).pdf (142.17 kb)

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Subscribers (mln)September 30,  2014 

June 30,  2014

Total consolidated subscribers, mln 99.83 96.74 3.09 3.2%
Russia 73.25 70.61 2.65 3.8%
Ukraine* 22.73 22.31 0.42 1.9%
Armenia 2.15 2.12 0.03 1.3%
Turkmenistan 1.69 1.70 (0.01) (0.5%)
MTS Belarus** 5.31 5.26 0.05 0.9%


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 Q3 2014 subscriber report here.  In Q3 2014, MTS adjusted its subscriber methodology to reflects three-months of subscriber activity instead of previously used six-months methodology. Numbers for the previous periods have been retrospectively adjusted.


* Including CDMA subscribers
** MTS owns a 49% stake in Mobile TeleSystems LLC, a mobile operator in Belarus, which is not consolidated.



Wednesday, November 05, 2014

We have recently published a report which looks into patterns of data usage in roaming. 

Highlights of the report include:

Over 38% of the traffic in international roaming is generated by maps and travel applications.

Access to social networks, including posting videos and photos, accounts for 28% of traffic. 

19% of traffic is consumed by reading emails and 10% by internet browsing.  

Over the first nine months of 2014, MTS saw an increase in the number of roamers in countries, which rank among the most popular 

holiday destinations for Russians.

You can download the full report below.


141105_MTS_Roaming_Report.pdf (616.50 kb)

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