MTS blog


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MTS is pleased to announce that we launched the first MTS Comstar bundle offer – the STREAM Versatile Box product – through our retail stores in Moscow and Zelenograd, a Moscow suburb, in December 2009. This is one of the first steps of our previously announced Comstar integration plans following our acquisition of the company in October 2009.

The bundle includes a ZTE ZXDSL 831 A II modem that supports ADSL2+ technology and the IPTV service, a StreamWizard auto-configuration CD to help set the necessary Internet settings on the PC using the Plug-and-Play standard, and a scratch card with an authentication code to enable access to the Internet, as well as the user’s personal cabinet.


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Monday, December 14, 2009
President and CEO of MTS, Mikhail Shamolin, recently gave an interview on In the interview, Mr. Shamolin provides his views on the Company's stock performance vis-a-vis investors' perception of Russian companies as well as answers a few questions on the latest developments in the Russian telecommunications market.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Earlier this week MTS became the only Russian telecommunications company to obtain the ISO 9001:2008 certificate of conformity for its Quality Management System that covers all of our locations in Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The certification audit was conducted by SGS, the global leader in inspection, verification, testing and certification services.

“Implementing the certification audit of the MTS Group allowed us to make sure that the Company’s activities and its internal quality management processes comply with the highest international standards. Obtaining the certificate of conformity helps to strengthen the Company’s reputation as an operator with a high service quality. I am convinced that getting the ISO certificate will bring MTS even more trust on behalf of its clients, investors and partners as well as will boost its further effective and successful business development,” said Peter Marriott, Vice-President of SGS S.A.

“The certification audit confirms the high level of service standards and the effectiveness of the process management system maintained by MTS throughout its markets of operation. The certification provides an additional incentive for our Company to further standardize requirements and approaches towards quality management in order to create better conditions for managing the processes of the integrated management system in the framework of the MTS Group,” noted Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of MTS.

In the future, along with the annual surveillance audits we intend to extend the geographical scope of the certification to all of our markets of operation.

From left to right: Alexander Gamov – Director of the Quality Assurance Department at MTS, Peter Marriott – Vice-President of SGS SA, Konstantin Timoshechkin – Manager in charge of business development at SGS S.A. (Eastern Europe).

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

On Thursday, November 19, 2009, Dr. Michael Hecker gave an interview on Sky News. In the clip below, Dr. Hecker shares his thoughts on the current trends in the telecommunications industry including our recent acquisition of a controlling stake of Comstar-UTS by MTS.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Please watch below the video presenting our 3i strategy. We have shot this video over the last few months across various locations of MTS, including our retail stores, call centers and technical facilities. The video also includes interviews with the management of MTS: Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of the Company; Michael Hecker, Vice President for Strategy and Corporate Development; and Mikhail Gerchuk, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

Below we have also posted a longer version of the video that includes in-depth interviews and more details about some of our recent initiatives, including the launch of content portal.

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Monday, November 16, 2009
On November 13, we disclosed our financial results for the third quarter 2009. As always, we posted a wealth of information about the results on our website – the press release, the presentation and the Excel spreadsheet with summary financial information for 2004-2009

As was stated during the conference call, we had a good quarter with revenues for the Group growing 12% q-on-q to nearly $2.3 billion on the back of healthy subscriber additions, a seasonal increase in usage, rising data consumption and a growing contribution from our retail sales. The Group’s OIBDA increased 11% q-on-q to $1.1 billion with an overall margin of 46.9%. Less the effect of our retail investments, the margin improved from Q2 2009 to 50.7%.

Though we continue to see an impact from macroeconomic uncertainty, we realized growth q-on-q in our Russian operations of 10% to 56 billion rubles. In addition to the seasonal dynamics of our business, we are succeeding in driving our active subscriber base and realizing 50% year-over-year growth in both data content and traffic revenues. We also witnessed a greater contribution from handset sales, which exceeded 3.2 billion rubles or 5.7% of revenue.

In Ukraine, we saw growth of 12% q-on-q to reach 2.2 billion hryvnas. We attribute this growth to seasonal factors, including increased usage and roaming, as well as certain marketing initiatives that adjust limits to our unlimited tariff plans. Changes to these tariff packages are allowing us to better monetize our customer base, while we are seeing a steady improvement in our brand perception and active subscriber base.

This was a busy quarter at MTS. As we discussed at our recent Analyst and Investor Day, we are focusing on a number of key initiatives to realize our 3i Strategy: the acquisition of 50.91% stake in Comstar-UTS and development of fixed-line broadband and pay-TV services in our markets; the continued roll-out of 3G and promotion of data and content services to our customers; the on-going development of our retail sales channels; the launch of our online portal,; activity on the local and international capital markets; plus our ongoing focus on cost effectiveness.

During the conference call Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of MTS, also noted that contrary to speculation, the Company has no plans to enter into the Indian market. The management is continuously looking at markets abroad, but the focus remains on developing markets in Russia and the CIS for telecommunications services. This is the very essence of our 3i Strategy and in our view the best way to maximize value for all of our shareholders.

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Monday, November 09, 2009
This week we announced a joint project with the Moscow United Energy Company (MOEK) to deploy an Automatic Control and Production Management System in a Moscow neighborhood Chertanovo. It is expected that the project will expand to all other properties served by MOEK, the largest provider of thermal energy in Moscow, that delivers water and heating to around 70% of residential and commercial properties in the city.

Under the current project, MTS will install SIM-cards into energy and water meters, enabling MOEK to collect data from their properties and receive real-time updates on usage trends. Wireless transmission of metering data will significantly increase the efficiency of energy planning and allow savings of up to 10% on energy consumption (according to experts quoted in the Energorynok magazine). While already popular in Western Europe and the US, smart metering is just taking off in Russia, and the new monitoring project we are launching with MOEK will be the largest in Moscow.

We believe that machine-to-machine communications will be an important part of our industry’s future, and MTS has already launched several projects in this area. For instance, we are working with DHL to track deliveries and provide instant updates about the location of couriers. We are also working with the Moscow Metro and the Zelenograd Bus Depot (Zelenogradskiy Avtokombinat), where in-built SIM-cards are used to monitor locations of trains and buses to increase efficiency of their movement from the control center.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

On October 27, IR Magazine Russia & CIS held its annual award ceremony, where we were honored with the grand prix for the best overall IR.

An article in the IR Magazine talks about the award:

“Investor relations in Russia can be tough. The country’s stock market is still in its infancy and remains far more volatile than other major country’s bourses. One consistent performer amid these conditions is Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), which this week picked up another award for its IR department.

The mobile phone operator won the grand prix for best overall IR at the IR magazine Russia & CIS awards in Moscow on Tuesday. Joshua Tulgan, the company’s director of IR, was present to accept the award. With this prize, MTS builds on its success last year, when it picked up best IR by a Russian company at the IR Magazine Continental Europe Awards.”

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Following the 2009 Analyst and Investor Day in Moscow, we have posted audio recordings of each session on our website.

Below you can find a few photos from the event.

Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of MTS, opening the first session, "Corporate Strategy 2009+"

Alexey Kornya, acting Chief Financial Officer, presenting during the second session, "Group Financial Overview"

Session 3, "Overview of the Russian Market"
From left to right: Aleksander Popovskiy, Head of MTS Russia; Andrei Ushatskiy, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer; Pavel Roytberg, Director of Product Development; Garrett Johnston, Director of Strategic Marketing

Additional photos are available here:

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Yesterday, we held the 2009 Analyst and Investor Day in Moscow with participation of close to 100 members of the investment community both foreign and local. The interactive format of the event provided an opportunity for those in attendance to closely interact with MTS’ top management. A range of important topics was discussed including the Company’s new 3i Strategy, integration of Comstar, financial management and guidance for 2009, as well as the developments in our markets of operation.

For those unable to join us at the event, presentations were made available on our website. Later this week, we will be posting audio recordings of the sessions and a few photos from the event.

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