MTS blog


MTS MAINTAINS ITS LEADERSHIP ON RUSSIAN MOBILE MARKET

Friday, March 31, 2017

MTS grew its share of the Russian mobile market by 1.1% y-o-y in 2016, according to data published by Advanced Communications and Media (AC&M), a specialized telecommunications research agency. MTS now has a 31% of the Russian mobile market and accounted for 52% of total net additions in 2016 (Tele2: 32%, Megafon: 16%). 


In terms of the broader Russian mobile market, AC&M’s data showed that the number of mobile subscribers grew 1.5% y-o-y  to 255.59 mln sim cards in 2016. Mobile services penetration in Russia also increased to 179% in 2016 from 176% in 2015.

 

MTS’ market leadership is the result of the consistent implementation of the company’s 3D strategy and delivering a superior customer experience. The company has invested significantly to roll out LTE networks in each region of Russia, offers tariffs for different customer’s needs, and promotes sales of data-enabling devices at a reasonable price. To engage customers more actively, MTS provides best in class service and 24/7 client support through traditional and innovative communications and digital channels. In addition to securing a seamless connectivity and providing classical mobile services, MTS also creates its own unique digital ecosystem beyond telecom offering its clients TV broadcasting, financial and banking services, MTS branded content, IoT solutions and other digital products and services.    

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MTS Launches #CloudMTS

Thursday, March 30, 2017

MTS has launched #CloudMTS, its cloud service offering for large corporate clients. The combination of MTS’ market-leading cloud platform, its own data centers and unrivalled network of backbone and urban channels allow customers to access complex computing and data storage cloud solutions with advanced disaster recovery options. The new services will be available throughout Russia.     

In order to provide uninterrupted cloud services, MTS has invested in building a distributed cloud system, unified by its own communication channels. MTS has used VMware technologies for its cloud platform and has re-equipped its data centers in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Novosibirsk with the most advanced and secure data storage systems and servers. MTS intends to re-equip data centers in other cities in 2017 and enable the implementation of IaaS-Projects (Infrastructure as a Service), as well as new SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) services, such as Big-Data-as-a-Service.

“By adopting cloud services, companies can achieve a threefold reduction in their IT infrastructure costs. With such clear economic savings, as well as the flexibility and simplicity of cloud management, we see great demand for our corporate cloud services. Our solutions are not only multi-faceted, with the option to integrate both IT and telecom services, but also guarantee a high level of security and reliability,” says Vladimir Khrenkov, Director of the MTS Innovation Center, which is leading the development of #CloudMTS.

Vasyl Latsanych, Vice President for Strategy and Marketing, added: “The launch of #CloudMTS is yet another step in delivering on our digital strategy. MTS is poised to expand well beyond its original mobile service  into the tech segments, including Big Data, financial and banking services, internet of things, OTT, systems integration and e-commerce”.

MTS previously offered data center services under the colocation model, where companies installed their own equipment in MTS data centers. MTS also offers cloud computing services for small and mid-size businesses. 

 



Big-Data-as-a-Service – cloud access to data analytics systems to clients 

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MTS tests Ultra HD TV on its cable network

Friday, March 24, 2017

After introducing Ultra HD (4K) broadcasting to its satellite customers in February 2017, MTS is currently testing Ultra HD TV on its cable networks. With this trial, MTS is leading the way in Russian 4K broadcasting and is the first telecom operator in Russia to offer Ultra HD to both its satellite and cable customers. The trial is being carried out on Russian Extreme, a 24 hour channel dedicated to extreme sports and travel.

Ultra HD broadcasting is one of the key growth drivers of the pay-TV market. Up until now, HD broadcasting has been associated exclusively with satellite TV. The launch of Ultra HD in the cable segment changes all that. Opening Ultra HD up to cable users promotes the development of a new generation TV market in Russia and uncovers new opportunities for content owners eager to find new ways to reach increasingly demanding viewers.  

MTS has teamed up with LG Electronics, leading Ultra HD television manufacturer, to promote and further develop Ultra HD technology.   

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Taking connection on Moscow metro to a new level

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MTS has successfully installed new equipment to secure seamless connection for passengers in Moscow metro. MTS cooperated with MaximaTelecom, a high-tech company specializing in development and commercialization of Wi-Fi networks in public areas, to implement the project.To achieve this new level of service, MTS equipped approximately 4,000 metro trains with femtocells connected to MaximaTelecom’s networks. These micro base stations boost the quality of signal available to MTS subscribers while travelling on Moscow metro trains. Even during peak hours, MTS subscribers can now enjoy reliable underground network to use voice, SMS, and mobile internet services.

Igor Yegorov, Director of the Moscow region at MTS, commented: “The launch of this project brings the quality of MTS’ services on the Moscow Metro to a new level. MTS subscribers are now able to be fully connected not just in the station lobbies and on the escalators, but while they’re inside the metro trains. This helps to provide a seamless and uninterrupted mobile user experience for millions of people during their lengthy journeys on the vast Moscow underground network. We will continue to enhance and fine-tune our underground service, identify and rectify any potential issues and expand coverage.”

Boris Volpe, CEO of MaximaTelecom, added: “Moscow is a world leader in providing internet services to metro passengers. It was the first city in the world to provide free, high-speed Wi-Fi access across all metro lines, which is today used by over 80% of Moscow’s residents. With the launch of this new MTS service, Moscow is again standing out as an innovator in this area. MTS customers now have access to the highest possible level of service while travelling on the Moscow Metro, and this is a standard all Moscow mobile networks should aspire to.”

 

MTS сurrently provides voice services in all Moscow metro stations. In 2016, MTS provided LTE mobile internet in 53 stations and this figure is expected to rise to 140 by the end of 2017.  

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MTS LAUNCHES LTE ADVANCED PRO

Friday, December 16, 2016

MTS is the first Russian telecom operator to launch the next generation of mobile internet – LTE Advanced Pro (so called 4.5G), which enables speeds of up to 700 Mb/sec. This standard is already available in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Ufa and Yakutsk.  

High internet speeds under the LTE Advanced Pro standard are achieved by combining frequency aggregation (LTE FDD 1800 MHz + LTE TDD 2600 MHz), multi-dimensional antenna systems (MIMO) 4x4 and modulation 256-QAM. The aggregation of these frequencies became possible after MTS won a spectrum auction in February 2016, to obtain throughout Russia frequency in the 2600 MHz range in the LTE TDD standard, which can be now used to MTS’s competitive advantage.

Smartphone producers plan to upgrade chips in their commercial devices so that their devices would support LTE Advanced Pro standard in 2017.

“MTS is committed to maintaining its leadership in telecoms technology in Russia and is laying the groundwork to evolve its networks to a 5G standard. Today, on the eve of the introduction of devices supporting 4.5G, we are launching the first commercial LTE Advanced Pro network in Russia. Indeed, we are the first telecom operator in the world to launch aggregated FDD and TDD network, which permits us to achieve mobile internet speeds of up to 700 Mb/sec. In this way we not only provide our customers with a significant increase in their internet speeds, but we also increase the efficiency of MTS’s use of the LTE TDD spectrum in the 2.6 GHz range.” – commented Andrey Ushatskiy, Vice President for Technology and IT and Chief Technology Officer of MTS.

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MTS MAINTAINS ITS LEADERSHIP IN THE RUSSIAN M2M/IOT MARKET

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MTS is the leading provider of M2M services in Russia, according to the latest report from Advanced Communications and Media (AC&M) on the M2M/IoT market in Russia. By the end of Q3 2016,  43% of SIM-cards used in different M2M solutions in Russia operated on the MTS network. 

MTS leadership in the market is underpinned by innovative large-scale projects in the automotive and energy industries. Since mid-2013 MTS has been developing Smart Car Insurance, fleet management telematics solutions, enabling customers to reduce the cost of their auto insurance. Each vehicle is fitted with a small device that captures vehicle performance statistics and driver behavior data, which is then transmitted over the MTS network. This solution evaluates customers’ driving behavior and allows insurers to determine the appropriate level of insurance premium based on the driver’s track record. Currently, around 30% of INTOUCH insurance contracts are being concluded with the Smart Car Insurance solution. 

In Russia today there are around 10 million connected IoT devices, a 30% increase from last year. These connections are found across many different industries, but are particularly prominent in the automotive and retail sectors. Many IoT devices are also used in housing & public utilities as well as the energy sector. The growth of the connected cars segment is a very promising development for IoT implementation in the mid-term, driven by the increasing number of potential users.

AC&M predicts that the Russian M2M/IoT market will grow at least 40% in 2017, measured by volume.

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MTS AND VIMPELCOM INCREASE MOBILE INTERNET SPEEDS THROUGH SPECTRUM SHARING

Monday, November 28, 2016

Moscow, Russian Federation – Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (“MTS” or the “Company” – NYSE: MBT; MOEX: MTSS), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, and «VimpelCom” PJSC (Beeline brand) announce the start of spectrum sharing in 4G-network in Cherepovetz (Vologda region) which allows to increase data transfer speeds available to the subscribers at peak speeds of 150 Mb/s. Vologda region became the first region where two operators united their spectrums within a large-scale project to jointly construct and utilize LTE networks in more than 30 regions in Russia.  

Sharing of the operators’ 10 MHz bandwidth in the 2600 MHz range spectrums will permit an increase in data transfer speeds over LTE networks up to a peak speed of 150 Mb/s.

In December 2015, MTS and VimpelCom signed an addendum to their agreement on the joint planning, development and usage of LTE networks, which they originally concluded in 2014 to unite their spectrum bands in 20 regions in Russia. In 2016, the list of the regions was expanded to 31.  Apart from Vologda region, in 2016-2017, the operators plan to unite their spectrum resources in other regions. 

The development of the project became possible due to adoption of amendments to the law “On Communications” that legislated the operator’s right to jointly utilize spectrum. 

“After two years of execution, our ambitious project with VimpelCom is entering its final stage – during the next year, we’ll unite our LTE networks on shared spectrums in more than 30 regions. The project allows us to minimize costs on construction and utilizing of the base stations, decrease the timeline for network launch and what is more provide our subscribers with the higher mobile internet speeds in modern LTE networks”, noted Andrei Ushatskiy, Vice President for Technology and IT. 

In December 2014, MTS and VimpelCom signed a partnership agreement to jointly plan, develop and use LTE networks in Russia in 36 regions in Russia. Under the agreement, in 2014 – 2016, MTS develops shared mobile data networks in 19 regions in Russia, while VimpelCom constructs networks in 17 regions.The agreement will last seven years with an option of prolongation. During this period, operators will share base stations, sites, transport networks and other infrastructure. The agreement will not preclude either company from develop their own networks in addition to shared infrastructure in the designated regions.

 

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Some of the information in this press release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of MTS, as defined in the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify forward looking statements by terms such as “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “will,” “could,” “may” or “might,” and the negative of such terms or other similar expressions.  We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. We do not undertake or intend to update these statements to reflect events and circumstances occurring after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. We refer you to the documents MTS files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the Company’s most recent Form 20-F. These documents contain and identify important factors, including those contained in the section captioned “Risk Factors” that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements, including, among others, the severity and duration of current economic and financial conditions, including volatility in interest and exchange rates, commodity and equity prices and the value of financial assets; the impact of Russian, U.S. and other foreign government programs to restore liquidity and stimulate national and global economies, our ability to maintain our current credit rating and the impact on our funding costs and competitive position if we do not do so, strategic actions, including acquisitions and dispositions and our success in integrating acquired businesses, potential fluctuations in quarterly results, our competitive environment, dependence on new service development and tariff structures, rapid technological and market change, acquisition strategy, risks associated with telecommunications infrastructure, governmental regulation of the telecommunications industries and other risks associated with operating in Russia and the CIS, volatility of stock price, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks.

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MTS AND SAMSUNG LAUNCH WI-FI CALLING

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Moscow, Russian Federation – Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (“MTS” or "the Company" – NYSE: MBT; MOEX: MTSS), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, and Samsung Electronics, the global consumer electronics and IT company, announce the launch of Wi-Fi calling in Russia enabling subscribers to make voice calls wherever there is a Wi-Fi connection (Voice over Wi-Fi). 

Voice calls using the Wi-Fi calling technology do not require customers to install any applications. Once customers enable the Wi-Fi calling option on their smartphone, voice calls will be automatically redirected to the Voice over Wi-Fi format, with the Wi-Fi connection acting as a base station for the customer. The key difference from existing OTT services is that a voice call is still processed using a mobile operator’s network and for the subscriber it appears as an ordinary call from one mobile number to another.

Wi-Fi Calling technology enables users to make calls from locations that may be less well served by traditional cellular networks but where there is a stable Wi-Fi connection. The service is priced under current tariff plans as an ordinary call.

The service will launch in Moscow and the Moscow Region first and will be available initially to Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge users. The service will then be rolled out over wider geographical coverage and an increasing range of devices over the course of 2017. 

Commenting on the launch of Wi-Fi Calling, MTS Vice President for Strategy and Marketing, Vasyl Latsanych, said: “Wi-Fi Calling represents a new step in the development of telecoms  infrastructure. This is one of the most promising technological solutions aimed at enhancing network quality and expanding the coverage of mobile services for subscribers. The technology means that every Wi-Fi connection point can act as one of our base stations. It enables us to provide our clients with high-quality services even in places without access to a cellular network, without costly investments in improving indoor coverage. MTS is pleased to be the first operator to launch Wi-Fi Calling in Russia and the timing is not accidental. We have closely examined the roll-out of Wi-Fi calling by our foreign partners, and as one of the most innovative global companies, we strived to be the first to provide this kind of service for our clients in Russia. Samsung was deliberately chosen as our partner to introduce Wi-Fi Calling as Samsung smartphones are traditionally among the most popular in Russia, so we are confident that this new service will be in high demand.” 

“Samsung Electronics’ mission is to create advanced products and services. We welcome the launch of innovative Wi-Fi Calling technology by our long-standing partner – MTS. Through this service, users of our flagship devices, Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, will be able to appreciate the high quality of the Wi-Fi modules installed in their smartphones for yet another purpose. In fact, it utilizes the same high-speed internet access but is aimed at solving a different problem – providing voice services in places where a traditional cellular network is not accessible for a variety of reasons,” – commented the Head of Samsung Mobile in Russia, Arkady Graf.

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MTS TESTS UPLINK CARRIER AGGREGATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EASTERN EUROPE

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Moscow, Russian Federation – Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (“MTS” or "the Company" – NYSE: MBT; MOEX: MTSS), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, announces successful trials of Uplink Carrier Aggregation technology for the first time in Russia and Eastern Europe. During the trials, the data transfer speed on the MTS LTE-network from a customer’s device to a base station more than doubled.

The trials took place on MTS’s commercial LTE-network in the Primorye Territory through the combination of 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequencies using Uplink Carrier Aggregation technology. 

The Uplink Carrier Aggregation technology allows to faster upload “heavy” content to the Internet, which is particularly important for gamers, video bloggers and users of video calls in messengers. The maximum speed reached during the trials was 48MB/sec, meaning that a 20-minute video in HD format can be uploaded to YouTube in approximately 2 minutes.   

«Today, operators compete in the field of high-speed mobile Internet on the basis of Downlink speeds. Recently however, we have seen traffic boom not only when we receive data, but also when we transfer content from smartphones and tablets. People share their photos and video more often than ever and files have become larger and of higher quality. Moreover, people are increasingly interested in services such as Periscope and Facebook Live, which enable live video streaming. Forecasting further growth in the volume of customers’ content, we tested various scenarios, to increase Uplink speeds on our commercial network under real-life conditions», — commented Andrei Ushatskiy, VP for Technology and IT at MTS.

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MTS DATING

Thursday, November 03, 2016

MTS increases its presence in the digital world by presenting its new mobile app to introduce people to each other “MTS Dating”. This new service enables people to find a soulmate, chat and participate in conversations. 

MTS continues to create new opportunities for its clients through use of the  mobile internet on a smartphone. A mobile device is not only a wallet, an interesting book or favorite music, but also an opportunity to meet love.  Upon recently, MTS subscribers have actively used different SMS-services for their acquaintances. The number of smartphone users continues to grow, so we decided to offer this convenient and free service.   

A key source of revenue is embedded purchases: users pay for gifts, with the option of hiding personal information, as well as some additional services. While we are building our client base, our app will be free and internet-traffic will be charged according to a special tariff plan. In the future, additional options will be paid for.      

The mobile app will be available for smartphones users with Android or IOS OS. All clients regardless of their mobile operators can use the service.  

MTS has the largest pool of MTS-branded mobile apps among the “Big Three” operators. 21 MTS-branded services in B2C and B2B segments are currently available for customers, including “My MTS”, “MTS Music”, “MTS Books”, “MTS Connect” and others. 

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