MTS blog


Thursday, April 19, 2018

In cooperation with Medsi Group, Russia’s largest private national healthcare chain, MTS has launched SmartMed, a telemedicine platform developed to host digital medical products and services.
The first product to be launched on this platform is the SmartMed app. SmartMed allows customers to arrange consultations with MEDSI doctors by video call or instant message from anywhere in the world. The app allows users to speak to a doctor directly from home or in an emergency, call a doctor and an ambulance, make appointments to MEDSI clinics, and keep medical data in a smartphone. The app provides up-to-date information on MEDSI clinics and doctors, allows patients to see their online and offline consultation history (from the date they registered with SmartMed), and keeps a secure record of all the documents that have been saved by the patient or sent by the doctor, including prescriptions and test results.

The joint MTS and MEDSI app connects patients not only with general practitioners, pediatricians and therapists, but also with the most popular specialties - allergists, otolaryngologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists and others. The choice of specialists advising patients online through our app will continue to expand going forward: from next month, the list of specialties will increase to about 20.

SmartMed users can be confident that their personal data is stored in a secure segment of the MTS cloud infrastructure #CloudMTS. To protect this data, we use a set of specialized security solutions, including a system of certified cryptographic communication channel protection, anti-virus protection, the counter threats to prevent unauthorized access, and vulnerability analysis software.

Alexey Kornya, President and CEO of MTS, commented, "Today, we launched a telemedicine platform that will serve as a base for the development of additional services in the digital medicine space, a strategically important business area for MTS. Our goal is to develop digital solutions, which encourage and promote preventative medicine, and help to educate patients about their health. We are currently exploring the possibilities of introducing solutions in the fields of early diagnosis and online health monitoring. We are also developing an automated data analysis system which will provide individual patients with personal recommendations. We actively support innovation in the field of medicine, and we work with Russian universities and technology start-ups in this space. We have opened a Master's program in telemedicine at the Moscow Polytechnic University, launched a digital medicine branch of the MTS Startup Hub, and promoted studies on the introduction of telemedicine in coordination with the Higher School of Economics. Research supports our optimistic forecasts that there will be considerable growth in digital medicine in the coming years both in Russia and globally."

Elena Brusilova, Presidentof Medsi Group commented, “The development of telemedicine gives access to quality medical care for a wide range of patients, including those in remote regions, small towns and villages. Today, we are delighted to announce the telemedicine solution we have developed with MTS, our SmartMed app. This is a unique product in the digital healthcare space, and the combination of MEDSI’s medical expertise and MTS’s digital experience serves as a great example of the kind of innovative synergies occurring between different companies within the Sistema Group. We hope that with the adoption of the law on telemedicine, our MEDSI doctors will be even closer to their patients. We know that our medical staff will continue to demonstrate the high levels professional competence across a wide range of specializations that we pride ourselves on. Our specialists guarantee that patients using the SmartMed app will receive the same high quality of treatment that patients in the MEDSI clinics get. Having had a consultation through the SmartMed app, patients can also arrange appointments with our specialists in person. In our clinics we use the latest equipment and the most advanced technologies, so all our patients can be confident in the quality and competency of our medical professionals."

There are many further benefits of the SmartMed app: it can help prevent diseases through early diagnosis, gives patients fuller explanations of their medical test results, and gives them the option to have additional consultations with their doctor after a live appointment. Additionally, it gives patients the option to get a second medical opinion, helps them monitor any wearable devices, and gives them general health and wellness recommendations.

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MTS launches a cloud-based service for personal data storage and processing

Friday, April 13, 2018

MTS launches a cloud-based service to help businesses protect the personal data belonging to their clients and employees, and meet the data protection requirements set out in Russian legislation.  The service not only provides customers with personal data cloud storage, but also includes assistance in drafting documentation for approvals by the relevant authorities.

The service uses a dedicated protected cloud system, #CloudMTS, utilising a fault-tolerant infrastructure within the VMware virtual platform. 

Our new offering allows clients to store information systems that are involved in collecting and processing personal data within the Cloud. These include personnel management systems, corporate content, and systems managing customer interactions, among others. 

The solution will be useful to businesses dealing with personal data, such as banks, insurance companies, medical organizations, logistics companies, retailers with loyalty programs and many others businesses.

Our protected #CloudMTS service has been certified by the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control (FSTEC) and fully complies with the requirements of the ‘On Personal Data’ federal law, as well as other relevant regulations. Our data is kept secure through the use of firewall systems, protected communication channels, anti-virus protection and vulnerability analysis software. 

Vladimir Khrenkov, Director of Innovation Development at MTS, commented:

“Russian business demand for better information security systems continues to grow. “Uberization” and digitalization are reshaping traditional solutions in this industry. As one of the leading suppliers of innovative digital solutions, MTS is able to enter this market with a comprehensive solution that provides  reliable protection from threats, and reduce costs for customers through utilizing their own IT equipment. Our cloud service capabilities are constantly expanding and we are prioritizing  improving them further  by engaging with the latest industry developments.”

#CloudMTS allows customers to reduce the capital expenses that come with creating and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. In our solution, economic efficiency is combined with flexibility and easy cloud management. MTS is able to provide maximum reliability because of their distributed network of  data centers, and their use of modern equipment from leading global  vendors.

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Andrey Ershov speaks with Total Telecom

Thursday, April 12, 2018

At the Gigabit Access conference in Brussel dedicated to the access technologies, Andrey Ershov, CEO of MGTS, spoke with Total Telecom about the challenges and opportunities in the Russian telecoms market, the company’s transformation and GPON network in Moscow as a technological platform for digital services.  Click here to read the interview.

MTS Compliance Management System Certified by ICA

Monday, April 09, 2018

MTS Compliance Management System has completed a successful audit by International Compliance Association (ICA) and received the ICA Conformity Certificate ISO 19600:2014. 

Julia Romashkina, Director, Compliance Department, MTS, commented,

“The International certification under ISO requirements yet again attests to MTS’s leadership position in anti-corruption practices, our commitment to high standards of business ethics and overall professional behavior. The certificate proves the high level of our corporate culture to our clients, business partners, investors, regulators and other stockholders as well as contribute to the improvement of the overall business environment in Russia.” 

MTS Compliance Management System is certified to conform with ICA’s requirements in accordance with guidance found in ISO 19600:2014 for compliance management system. MTS Compliance Management System includes eight compliance programs: anti-corruption and business integrity, anti-trust, insider trading, organization of personal data processing, human rights at work place, ant-money laundering and fighting terrorism financing, occupational safety, and ecology.



Wednesday, April 04, 2018

iPhone users (from the iPhone 6/SE models and later) can now enjoy VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling services in Moscow and the surrounding region. This is the first time these services have been available in Russia as a combined product; and our technology supports a seamless transition between the two, so customers’ conversation is never interrupted. Users will find the switch as smooth as transitioning between our 3G and 2G networks.

Our VoLTE service will start working automatically when users next update their handsets, as long as Wi-Fi calling has been approved on the smartphone. The cost of Wi-Fi calls will be the same as the cost for cellular calls, according to each user's tariff plan.

Our VoLTE service is also available on the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Sony XZ2 and XZ2 compact, the Huawei Nova and Nova 2, some Motorola and Highscreen handsets, and MTS branded smartphones. Wi-Fi calling is supported by most smartphones from Samsung, Sony, Huawei, LG, Alcatel as well as the MTS brand, with the list of compatible devices steadily expanding.

VoLTE allows users to connect with each other instantly, and enjoy higher quality voice calls, while simultaneously allowing them to use a high speed mobile internet connection to browse the web. With our Wi-Fi calling, users can make calls from anywhere with a stable Wi-Fi connection, without having to worry about the transition between the Wi-Fi connection and the cellular network. 

Igor Yegorov, the Director of the Moscow regional operations for MTS, commented:

“Our VoLTE and Wi-Fi services are the perfect voice product for today’s smartphone user, and they bring benefits both to the customer and the operator. Our customers will experience a fundamentally improved quality of voice calling, and going forward, their increased use of the LTE network will help reduce the load on 3G and 4G services. This will allow MTS to increase our throughput, help us optimize our network development costs and thus improve the quality of services provided."

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

“MTS.Kassa” is a comprehensive cloud-based service offered by MTS to small and mid-sized businesses. It includes free connectivity, software and FDO (fiscal data operator) functionality.

New legislation requires individual entrepreneurs and trading companies to maintain their accounting records online. MTS offers a solution that helps companies to fully comply with the new standards. The online cash register provides cash or non-cash settlements, electronically sends purchase data directly to tax authorities, controls turnover, and also boasts business analysis capabilities. MTS.Kassa equipment can be bought in installments on the dedicated website, as well as through MTS stores.

The "MTS. Kassa" kit is presented in two versions: a basic mobile cash register with a sensor display for small outlets and couriers; and a stationary device with a full-size screen and a stand-alone fiscal register for larger stores with higher customer traffic. The devices send data either through the mobile network or Wi-Fi. All information is then stored in a secure cloud, allowing businesses to monitor their activity from any location convenient to them.

Kirill Dmitriev, Vice President, Sales and Customer Services, MTS, commented:  "In line with our strategy to provide useful services for business, we offer an integrated product that provides a comprehensive solution for a business need. MTS.Kassa is a unique product in the Russian market. Moreover, we can offer this service at a very attractive price due to our strong IT expertise and synergy with LiteBox, the developer of cloud software, and NVision Group, our systems integrator. This and similar partnerships within the MTS Group open limitless opportunities for further development of apps, financial services and cloud computing.”

Another benefit of the MTS online cash register is that it not only allows entrepreneurs to fully comply with legal recruitments, but also simultaneously helps them to rapidly digitize their business. MTS.Kassa provides businesses with an immediate set of modern sales management tools: automated procurement management, inventory management, residual analysis, margin assessment of goods, and loyalty programs management.

 MTS announced its entry into the cloud cash register market in October 2017 after the acquisition of  a 50.82% stake in the Russian retail software developer Oblachny Retail LLC, operating under its trademark name LiteBox. In December 2017, MTS subsidiary NVision Group received an FDO (fiscal data operator) license from the Federal Tax Service.

Andrei Ushatsky speaks with Mobile Europe

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Andrei Ushatsky, CTO, spoke with Graeme Neill, editor for Mobile Europe, about technological challenges faced by MTS ahead of World Cap, 5G and IoT boom. Click here to read the full article.

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Vyacheslav Nikolaev speaks with European Communications

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Vyacheslav Nikolaev, CMO, MTS, spoke with European Communications about the need of operators to move away from connectivity-based business models and develop new digital services. While some telco executives are skeptical about entering new verticals, Vyacheslav is convinced that moving into new areas is the right way to go. Click here to read the full article.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

At Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, the world’s largest event for the mobile telecommunications industry, MTS signed an agreement with Ericsson to jointly launch an R&D Center in the Republic of Tatarstan to develop a wide range of innovative solutions based on 5G and IoT technologies. The agreement is a part of the broader strategic collaboration between MTS and Ericsson in the 5G space.

The R&D Center will be opened in the second quarter of 2018 using existing MTS’ infrastructure at the technology park "Innopolis" in Kazan. The first task for the R&D Center is to focus on developing Smart City solutions for Russian urban areas.

The setup of the center assumes that both Ericsson and MTS contribute expertise to the project, including developers, engineers, business analysis and market research. MTS will provide the premises, data center facilities, test environment, additional resources from its Innovation Center, as well as the newly created IoT Lab. Ericsson will provide access to its proprietary technologies (including Ericsson IoT Accelerator, Massive IoT solutions for NB-IoT development), global expertise, educational resources, ecosystem of partners, startups and universities, including consulting support in the form of the Ericsson Cloud Lab in Aachen, Germany, and the Ericsson Garage incubator start-up.

Valery Shorzhin, Vice President, Procurement and Administration, MTS, commented: "MTS is actively preparing its network for the introduction of 5G technologies. We are conducting research both in-house and through partnerships with key suppliers, and continuously testing new solutions. Today, we launch a new stage of our technological cooperation with Ericsson. The launch of a joint R&D Center will significantly accelerate the introduction of innovative products to the market. We hope that the research work of both companies will allow us to bring new developments not only to the Russian, but also to the global market. MTS has the competencies and experience to create innovative products through its own Innovation Center and IoT Lab”.

Sebastian Tolstoy, President, Ericsson (Russia), commented: “Establishing joint R&D Center with MTS at Innopolis is a new phase of our strategic cooperation with MTS in 5G. Ericsson will provide its latest 5G and IoT technologies, global expertise and access to worldwide ecosystem of partners and universities, as well as support of key Business Labs. The R&D Center at Innopolis will become an important part of Ericsson’s global R&D program for the development and launch of IoT innovations to drive large-scale uptake of IoT in Russia and beyond”.

Initially, both companies will create a working group and assemble the technological infrastructure used by the Center. In cooperation with local partners, universities and start-ups, the companies will organize a number of hackathons, focusing on development of Smart City solutions. Subsequently, a joint commission will determine the most promising ideas for building product prototypes. Based on test results, the companies will select the most innovative solutions for practical implementation in 2019.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Growing customer demand for digital entertainment services, including video streaming and online TV, has stimulated higher sales of more advanced and premium smartphones. In 2017, the strongest trend in consumer behavior was an upsurge in sales of smartphones priced over RUB 40,000. In monetary terms, this category of smartphones demonstrated an impressive growth of 79% y-o-y. The second fastest growing category were smartphones priced at RUB 20,000 - 30,000, showing a 21% increase compared to 2016. In the RUB 30,000 - 40,000 price segment, sales grew by 15%. At the same time, lower-end devices priced below RUB 5,000 saw a 39% decline in sales.

The popularity of premium smartphones also fueled an overall growth in credit sales which increased by 40% in unit terms and by 74% in monetary terms. The average price of a smartphone bought on credit increased to RUB 19,000 (+24% y-o-y). At the same time, customers this year opted for loans repayable over 24 months sixteen times more often than in 2016 – a period corresponding to the average lifespan of a modern smartphone. Purchase costs distribution over a longer period of time allowed customers to choose premium tariff plans with higher data allowance.

Today, an advanced smartphone helps users manage their daily tasks and serves as a single access point for entertainment, replacing several devices – tablet, camera, music player, e-book and banking card. As a result, consumers are increasingly seeking more reliable and faster handsets which boast high-resolution screens, advanced cameras and NFC functionality. For operators this trend means greater data consumption – in 2017, MTS saw an increase of 252% compared to the previous year.

Kirill Dmitriev, Vice President, Sales and Customer Service, MTS, commented: “We are witnessing a turning point in consumer behavior, with smartphones increasingly seen as integrated hubs of digital life. This drives consumers, even those with low income, to buy more expensive devices so they can access heavier digital content everywhere and at any time. More and more of our subscribers prioritize powerful devices that enable them to watch movies, play games, use social networks, post photos and publish stories on social platforms such as Instagram.

Kirill continued, “To keep pace with evolving customer demand, we offer affordable handsets that provide easy access to digital entertainment. Moreover, at MTS, we are actively developing our own digital ecosystem - mobile music, mobile TV and video-on demand. Our menu of services has been enlarged with e-ticketing service as a result of our recent acquisitions of and”

The average smartphone price at MTS retail stores increased from RUB 9,502 in 2016 to 11,846 in 2017 (+24.7%) which is 13% lower than the average smartphone price on the Russian smartphone market (RUB 13,417). The difference is explained by the fact that MTS retail network keeps prices at minimum, offering its customers the option to choose higher-end devices without typical retail mark-ups.

Among the most popular brands were Samsung, Apple and Honor/Huawei, which collectively accounted for the majority of smartphone sales in MTS retail stores. The overall share of the three manufacturers totaled roughly 85.8% of all gadgets sold in 2017. In 2017, Apple demonstrated solid growth of 1.5x both in monetary and unit terms. One of the main contributing factors was a decrease in retail prices; in Q4 2017, for example, the most popular model on the Russian market was iPhone SE 32GB priced at RUB 18,490 in the MTS retail stores, an annual drop of 40% from the initial price of RUB 33,000 in Q4 2016. Honor/Huawei also boosted its sales showing a 285% and 342% growth in unit and monetary terms respectively. These developments negatively affected Alcatel branded smartphone sales which dropped by 64% in unit terms.

Russian smartphone market in 2017

In Russia, the overall smartphone sales in 2017 amounted to RUB 386 bln (+17.3% y-o-y). In unit terms, retailers together sold 28.4 mln devices (+6% y-o-y) and set a new record, exceeding the previous all-time high of 27.6 mln devices sold in 2014.

Samsung remained the most sought-after brand in 2017. The Korean manufacturer’s market share amounted to 25.2% in unit terms (+3.5 p.p.) and 29.2% in monetary terms (+3.5 p.p.). The main driver for such boost in sales was the successful start of Samsung’s flagship models - Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

Apple’s market share at the end of 2017 accounted for 12.8% in unit terms (+1.7 p.p.) and 34.4% in monetary terms (+0.5 p.p.).

The third most popular brand was Honor/Huawei. The vendor's market share demonstrated a strong growth and reached 9.6% (+5.3 p.p.) in unit terms and 8.5% (+4.7 p.p.) in monetary terms. Another rapidly growing player was Xiaomi – the Chinese manufacturer entered the TOP-5, most highly demanded smartphone brands in Russia with a market share of 4.1% (+3.5 p.p.) in unit terms and 3.7% (+2.9 p.p.) in monetary terms.

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