MTS blog


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Two MTS executives were named among the 40 most important telecom leaders under the age of 40. Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of the Company, and Mikhail Gerchuk, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, became the only executives from Russia and the CIS to make the “40 under 40” list by Global Telecoms Business magazine.

You can download the full report or read extracts here.

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Friday, April 02, 2010

One of our major initiatives in 2009 was the rapid expansion of our mobile retail network and distribution of devices through it. As we have indicated in our Q4 and FY 2009 results presentation, we have sold over 2 million handsets through our network during 2009, gaining a market share of 11.7% by the end of the year (from just over 2% in Q1 2009).

Today we are issuing a report on mobile retail in Russia during Q1 2010, based on the estimates from our mobile retail network. You can download it here.

Highlights from the report:
- The Russian market for handsets grew to around 7.3 million units sold in Q1 2010, a 22% year-on-year growth
- Mobile handset market in Russia reached 33.4 bln rubles in sales in Q1 2010
- The average price of mobile phones on the market during Q1 2010 was 4,594 rubles, approximately 71% of devices sold through our stores were below 5,000
- The market share of MTS retail network grew to 13.8% in Q1 2010 from 11.7% in Q4 2009 (in unit sales)
- MTS-branded handset MTS 236 was the most popular device sold through the MTS retail network, accounting for 8.4% of total units sold

Please download the compete report here:

 Mobile retail report Q1 2010 

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Today, we have released our subscriber numbers for the month of February 2010. Below is a table outlining the dynamics of our customer base.

Subscribers (mln) Feb 28, 2010 Jan 31, 2010 Growth
Feb 28, 2009 Growth
Total consolidated subscribers, eop 97.76 97.46 0.30 0.3% 91.77 5.99 6.5%
Russia 69.17 68.88 0.29 0.4% 64.83 4.34 6.7%
Ukraine 17.39 17.52 (0.13) (0.8%) 18.02 (0.63) (3.5%)
Uzbekistan 7.29 7.19 0.10 1.3% 5.80 1.49 25.6%
Turkmenistan 1.82 1.79 0.03 2.1% 1.07 0.75 71.0%
Armenia 2.10 2.08 0.02 1.0% 2.05 0.05 2.5%
MTS Belarus1 4.549 4.553 (0.004) (0.1%) 4.39 0.16 3.5%

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 February subscriber report here.

1 MTS owns a 49% stake in Mobile TeleSystems LLC, a mobile operator in Belarus, which is not consolidated.

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Friday, February 26, 2010
Today, we have released our subscriber numbers for the month of January 2010. Below is a table outlining the dynamics of our customer base.

Subscribers (mln) Jan 31, 2010 Dec 31, 2009 Growth
Jan 31, 2009 Growth
Total consolidated subscribers, eop 97.46 97.81 (0.35) (0.4%) 91.40 6.06 6.6%
Russia 68.88 69.34 (0.46) (0.7%) 64.49 4.39 6.8%
Ukraine 17.52 17.56 (0.04) (0.2%) 18.15 (0.63) (3.4%)
Uzbekistan 7.19 7.07 0.12 1.7% 5.73 1.46 25.4%
Turkmenistan 1.79 1.76 0.03 1.6% 1.00 0.79 78.5%
Armenia 2.08 2.07 0.01 0.2% 2.03 0.05 2.4%
MTS Belarus1 4.55 4.56 (0.01) (0.2%) 4.37 0.18 4.2%

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 January subscriber report here.

1 MTS owns a 49% stake in Mobile TeleSystems LLC, a mobile operator in Belarus, which is not consolidated.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Pavel Roytberg, Director for Products and Services at MTS Russia, receives the GSMA Global Mobile Award.

We have attended the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week and wanted to share some highlights of MTS at the show for the readers of our blog.

In a video interview below with Light Reading TV, Dr. Michael Hecker, Vice President for Strategy and Corporate Development at MTS, discusses the rising demand for data in our markets, our growth outlook and plans for LTE.

There have also been a number of announcements at the show relevant to MTS:
  • We have been honored with the GSMA 15th Annual Global Mobile Award in the “Best Billing & Customer Care Solution” category for our “Your Individual Optimal Tariff Plan” service. MTS became the first mobile operator from Russia and the CIS to be recognized with one of the most prestigious awards in the telecommunications industry.
  • MTS Ukraine has selected Alcatel-Lucent to conduct a Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial, which will begin in the second half of 2010.
  • MTS is teaming up with Opera Software to provide a co-branded version of the Opera Mini browser. This will provide our subscribers with access to a customized Opera Mini start page when they download the browser on their mobile phones.
  • Vantrix, the global leader of mobile video optimization and delivery solutions, announced that it was selected by MTS to provide a video delivery solution for, MTS’ online and mobile content portal.

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Friday, February 12, 2010
MTS 835, 3G-enabled phone with a 2 megapixel camera and a 2.4 inch screen

We have been selling MTS-branded phones since the end of last year through our monobrand retail network in Russia. Currently, we have a total of four models on offer ranging from a basic model at 980 rubles* (or around $32**) - one of the most affordable in the market - to a 3G-enabled one at a very attractive price point  of 6,490 rubles (or around $215).
Lower-end phone models dominate in Russia, and we estimate that phones for under 5,000 rubles (around $165) accounted for over 35% of the market in 2009. This price point is attractive to customers who are buying their first phone, but also to those that want a phone for a second line or to use during vacation.

So far, we are quite pleased with the sales of MTS-branded phones. At the end of 2009, MTS was among the top five mobile phone brands, accounting for approximately 2% of the market in Q4’2009 (based on our estimates, in terms of sales of devices). During the months of November and December, MTS-branded phones accounted for 15% of phone sales through the MTS monobrand network. MTS-236, the entry-level model, was one of the 10 most popular models in December.

We have recently launched sales of MTS-236 in Armenia, and we are to planning to expand our branded device portfolio in our markets of operations going forward.

Additional information about our phones:
MTS-236 is an entry-level phone, one of the most affordable in the market, sold for 980 rubles (around $32). It offers basic calling capabilities with an attractive form factor.

MTS-733 is one of the cheapest 3G phones available in Russia, priced at 2,999 rubles (under $99), which is 4 times cheaper than the average 3G model in the market. This model has a 2 megapixel camera and 2 inch screen.

MTS-736 is a slider with a 2 inch screen and a 2 megapixel camera. It is sold for 4,490 rubles (around $148).

MTS-835 is the most advanced 3G model offered under our brand, featuring a 2.4 inch screen, a 2 megapixel main camera and a 0.3 megapixel front camera. The phone is priced at 6,490 rubles (around $215).

MTS-236 was developed by ZTE, and the other three phones are produced by Huawei. We are offering a 3-year warranty on our phones, if subscribers stay with MTS during that period.


* The amounts quoted in this post refer to phone prices when bought with a new MTS tariff plan. Phones are unlocked and are available without the tariff for the following prices: MTS-236 for 1,050 rubles, MTS-733 for 3,490 rubles, MTS-736 for 4,990 rubles and MTS-835 for 6,990. While contract prices vary across the Russian regions, MTS-branded phones are uniformly priced across Russia.

** According to the Russian Central Bank exchange rate of 30.2462 RUB/USD as of February 11, 2010. Dollar amounts provided for reference only.

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Monday, February 01, 2010
FOX Business Network, interviewed Mikhail Shamolin, CEO and President of MTS, in Davos last week. Shamolin attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010 in Davos, using the opportunity to meet with his peers to learn how others are managing through the global economic downturn and discuss trends and ideas shaping the telecom and entertainment industries. In the video below, Shamolin discusses the future of telecoms and the potential for growth in our core markets of Russia and the CIS.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our English-language corporate website has recently been named the best in Russia in 2009 by H&H Webranking. H&H Webranking conducts surveys of capital market participants such as the financial analysts, investors, business journalists and jobseekers, so as to review such aspects as availability of information, ease of access and frequency of updates of corporate websites.
“Mobile TeleSystems took a huge step forward from last year’s 20th position. Climbing 20 positions in one year... to the company in Russia that best fulfils the demands from the international capital market is very impressive,” says Marcus Eriksson, head of H&H Webranking.

During last year, we have made a number of improvements to our website, including the launch of the IR Blog, the redesign of the home page and the stock performance page as well as publishing an Excel sheet with summary financial and operating results. We are also constantly updating internal pages of the website, such as the list of upcoming events, our strategy and history of the Company. Last but not least, in 2009 for the second year in a row we have published an online-only Annual Review.

H&H Webranking is the established international Yardstick for companies wishing to benchmark their website's performance in relation to other companies in general and companies of their type of business in particular. Over 800 European companies in over 28 industries are included in the various H&H Webranking survey. Findings of the survey are widely published in business dailies throughout Europe, including The Financial Times, Handelsblatt and Corriere della Sera.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010
We have set the tentative date for our Q4 and FY 2009 financial results on April 1, 2010. We will confirm the date closer to the event.

You can view the latest information on our upcoming events here.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

3G network in Moscow, as of January 15, 2010.

At the end of December 2009, we launched our commercial 3G network in Moscow, complementing our existing coverage in the Moscow region and throughout Russia. At the time of launch, our network consisted of 197 base stations, which allowed us to offer extensive coverage within the MKAD (the so-called beltway, or highway, that surrounds Moscow) to a population of over 10 million.  By the end of January, we will have installed up to 300 base stations to serve Russia's capital.  For the latest network map, click here.

We estimate that data traffic has already increased 2-3 times in areas where both 2G and 3G networks are available, compared to the traffic prior to the launch of 3G. Currently, we have a variety of special tariffs for 3G users, including unlimited ones.

The network was launched after MTS received permission from the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communication (Roskomnadzor) to install up to 783 UMTS base stations on the streets of Moscow. Earlier, the company received permission to launch 3G in the Moscow Metro and in the largest business and shopping centers in the city.

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Recent Tweets

Follow me, Josh Tulgan, MTS Director for Corporate Finance and Investor Relations, on twitter

Twitter March 16, 22:16
RT @eurocomms: MTS taps majority shareholder for new CFO

Twitter March 15, 19:41
@Rudnit And on our networks they will roam!

Twitter March 14, 10:50
#Russia is the largest #cybersport market in Europe $58 mln @PayPal, @_SuperData, #e sport через @ru_rbc

Twitter March 14, 10:33
Andrei Ushatsky, CTO, speaks with @mobileeurope about #5G, #WorldCup2018, #IoT $MTSS, $MBT

Twitter March 13, 12:49
RT @eurocomms: Stick or twist? Operators split on whether non-telco services strengthen their hand

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