MTS blog


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.



Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Subscribers (mln)March 31,  2014

December 31,  2013

Total consolidated subscribers, mln 103.30 102.43 0.87 0.85%
Russia 76.11 75.32 0.79 1.05%
Ukraine* 22.79 22.66 0.13 0.56%
Armenia 2.45 2.44 0.01 0.49%
Turkmenistan 1.96 2.02 -0.06 -2.80%
MTS Belarus** 5.37 5.39 -0.03 -0.47%


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 Q1 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.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Alexey Kornya, MTS Vice President and CFO, spoke at the Global Telecoms Business CFO Summit, in London. Alexey participated in a panel discussion on tax and transparency alongdise John Connors, group head of tax at Vodafone. Alexey stressed that positioning MTS as a reliable taxpayer helps to build good relationship with government authorities. You can view his presentation on new tax administration regime on our slideshare account and read full report from the event at the Global Telecoms Business magazine website. 



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Alexey Kornya, MTS Vice President and CFO, was interviewed by Bloomberg's correspondent Ryan Chilcote. Click here to watch the video.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014
Subscribers (mln)December 31,  2013 

September 30,  2013

Total consolidated subscribers, mln 102.43 99.94 2.49 2.5%
Russia 75.32 73.14 2.18 3.0%
Ukraine* 22.66 22.41 0.25 1.1%
Armenia 2.44 2.38 0.05 2.2%
Turkmenistan 2.02 2.01 0.01 0.3%
MTS Belarus** 5.39 5.33 0.07 1.3%


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 Q4 2013 subscriber report here.
* Including CDMA subscribers
** MTS owns a 49% stake in Mobile TeleSystems LLC, a mobile operator in Belarus, which is not consolidated.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We have recently issued a report on fast-growing market of machine-to-machine communications (M2M) in Russia.

140318_M2M_Report_2013.pdf (391.41 kb)



Thursday, February 20, 2014

We have issued a report on mobile retail in Russia during Q4 and Full Year 2013, based on the estimates from our mobile retail network.

Highlights from the report:

- In 2013, the number of phones sold in Russia decreased by 1.2% compared to 2012 with around 41.7 mln devices sold

- In 2013, the mobile handset market in Russia expanded by 12% in sales compared to 2012 to reach RUB 230 bln

- In 2013, the smartphone market increased by 53% compared to 2012 with 19.7 mln smartphones sold

- In 2013, the smartphone market expanded by 36% in terms of sales compared to 2012 to reach RUB 188 bln

- At the end of Q4 2013, MTS retail network comprised 4 034 stores, including 1197 franchised outlets.

Please download the complete report here

140219_Retail_Report_Q42013.pdf (1.39 mb)



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

During the first weekend of the sporting events taking place in Sochi, MTS subscribers and roamers have transferred 18.2 TB of traffic using high speed mobile Internet networks. This volume corresponds to approximately 36 mln photos uploaded to Instagram or 340,000 mp3 tracks of the official Olympic hymn! Over the past weekend, MTS customers in Sochi have made voice calls boasting a total duration of 120 mln minutes and sent 13.2 mln SMS. This is equal to the text of approximately 5,000 copies of the Olympic Charter.


The highest levels of usage were registered in the sea cluster area and at the territory of Krasnaya Polyana


Andrei Ushatskiy, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of MTS, commented, “We have once again demonstrated that our networks can efficiently operate in peak busy hours and have ample capacity to process gigantic amounts of voice calls, text messages and data traffic. MTS is the market leader in Krasnodar Krai, which encompasses the Sochi region and in turn necessitates a high level of commitment to providing best-in-class services to our customers at a time when many guests are attending key sporting events taking place in the region.”


Today MTS offers coverage of all of the outdoor sporting facilities in the sea and mountain clusters. MTS has completed substantial network enhancements throughout the territory of Greater Sochi, including the areas where sporting events will take place. In 2013, all of the base stations in Sochi were upgraded to DC-HSDPA technology, which enabled MTS to increase peak data transfer speeds up to 42 Mb/s. In December 2013, MTS also increased capacity throughout the Sochi and Adler areas by 30 percent. Total investments in the network in the region during 2011-2013 exceeded RUB 10 billion or USD 300 mln. 





Thursday, February 06, 2014


On February 04, 2014, MTS held its Investor Day in Moscow in front of a crowded room of analysts, investors and friends of the company.  Thanks to everyone who turned out to listen to our new story – we appreciate your continued support and confidence in MTS. 


If you were unable to join us we encourage you to view the management presentations  which can be found here.  Alternately, I invite you to follow my comments on Twitter (@JoshatMTS) at #MTSinvestorday2014 where I live tweeted and posted numerous pictures from the event.


MTS executives, led by Andrei Dubovskov, President and CEO, set the stage for future success by debuting MTS’s new 3D Strategy – Data, Differentiation and Dividends – that leverages key MTS strengths and opportunities for growth.  Management believes this strategy will yield revenue growth for the Group of approximately 5% for FY2013 while MTS will realize 3-5% revenue growth per year from 2013-2016E. 


Below please find a brief overview of each element of the new 3D Strategy. 


Data. The success of MTS hinges on ensuring that customers have the absolute best connectivity experience across all part of their life: in their homes, at their workplace and every place in between.  MTS will accomplish this by providing customers with the fastest, most reliable data networks and increasing penetration across our subscriber base. 


Differentiation. Differentiation starts with offering customers unique products and services to enhance their digital lives.  Equally as important is providing a best-in-class customer experience to improve loyalty throughout MTS markets of operation.  The final way MTS will differentiate itself is by continuing to establish Moscow as world-class in terms of connectivity and overall network access.   


Dividends. Lastly, MTS remains committed to enhancing shareholder returns as the company continues to improve operational efficiency.  Given strong performance in 2013 and higher-than-anticipated free cash flow, management announced that it is raising dividend guidance for 2014 – 2015 to at least RUB 90 billion.   


In addition to the above, executives also gave presentations on the other elements of the business including Mobile Retail, Financial Services, Digital Moscow, and Technology Roadmap. The event concluded with a lively Q&A session where analysts asked thoughtful questions ranging from our data monetization strategies to LTE rollout targets to opportunities around MTS Money and financial services to MTS retail strategy. 


Should you have any questions about the Investor Day or the new 3D Strategy, please reach out to us directly at +7 (495) 223-20-25 or



Joshua B. Tulgan

Director, Corporate Finance and Investor Relations  


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