MTS blog


MTS LAUNCHES LTE IN ARMENIA

среда, декабря 22, 2010

We are pleased to announce that VivaCell-MTS, a majority-owned subsidiary of MTS in Armenia, has recently launched a special LTE test zone in central Yerevan. This will enable VivaCell-MTS subscribers to test this innovative technology with modems that support the 4G standard. This is the first step in a full-scale nationwide network roll-out. MTS is building the network in cooperation with the leading international suppliers - Ericsson and Huawei.

LTE is a “fourth generation” technology that is more advanced than 3.5G/HSPA and HSPA+ technologies already deployed in Armenia. 4G network allows for up to 150 Mbps download and up to 50 Mbps upload rates.

Armenia is the second country where MTS is building a LTE network. In July 2010, MTS became the first mobile operator to launch a 4G network into commercial operation in Uzbekistan.

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MTS LAUNCHES BLACKBERRY® IN ARMENIA

среда, августа 18, 2010

We are pleased to announce that this past Monday we became the first company to launch the BlackBerry® solution in Armenia. The move was made possible through a partnership with Emitac Mobile Solutions (EMS), a Dubai based solutions and service provider and a strategic channel partner of Research In Motion (RIM). Coupled with the speeds offered by our 3G network, which is now operational in 50 towns and cities across Armenia, our customers will be able to fully satisfy their mobile and information needs by using the BlackBerry® solution.

We will offer the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server (BES) for corporate customers and the BlackBerry® Internet Service (BIS) for smaller businesses and individual users. The initial portfolio of handsets will consist of three models – BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700, BlackBerry® Bold™ 9000 and BlackBerry® Storm 2™ 9520.

A tariff plan for BIS users will carry a monthly fee of AMD 9,900 (around $27) and will include 500 free on-net minutes and 500 free on-net SMS as well as unlimited access to the email and messaging.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server is designed for organizations that manage their own email servers. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server software tightly integrates with IBM® Lotus® Domino®, Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise® and offers advanced security and IT policy controls to enable secure, push-based wireless access to email and other corporate data.

BlackBerry Internet Service is designed for smaller businesses and individuals. It allows customers to access up to 10 supported corporate and personal email accounts (including most popular ISP email accounts such as Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Live and Google Mail) from a BlackBerry smartphone.

 

 

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MTS-BRANDED PHONES

пятница, февраля 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.

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* 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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3+1 PROJECT IN BASHKIRIA

среда, июля 01, 2009
Today we have launched a unique pilot project in the Republic of Bashkortostan (Bashkiria), whereby subscribers are offered mobile and fixed telephony as well as broadband Internet services under the MTS brand on a single bill. These services are provided on an opt-in basis to both private and corporate subscribers, offering the ease of use of a single billing system and the greater affordability of the bundled solution.

In Bashkiria, we have deployed one of the fastest broadband solutions currently available, FTTC / VDSL2, with download speeds of up to 100 Mbit / second. This type of connection allows us to bring a multitude of services to subscribers, including HDTV, broadband Internet and fixed telephony. We aim to launch IPTV services in Bashkiria this year as well.

We are the first company in Russia to offer one bill for mobile services, fixed telephony and broadband Internet. We are launching a range of tariff plans for each service with discounts for choosing multiple options. For instance, subscribers to all three services will have a 20% discount on the total bill, and subscribers to two services will get a 10% discount.

We have been developing convergent solutions in Bashkiria since the acquisition of Bashcell in late 2007. Bashcell had the licenses and the networks to provide fixed-line telephony and broadband access, which we have since successfully upgraded to offer best-in-class bundled solutions.

The pilot project in Bashkiria will help us test the demand for convergent solutions in Russia and develop a better customer proposition for future deployment in the country. Given the low penetration of broadband and the reputation of our Company, we believe that bringing high-speed Internet service will be one the key drivers of our growth in the future.

More information about the 3+1 tariffs and services is available here (in Russian).


 

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN ARMENIA

пятница, июня 26, 2009
Corporate Social Responsibility is not a common term in our markets of operations, but this is mostly due to the difficulty of translation rather than a lack in effort.

The essential function of our company is to provide people with easy and affordable access to some of the most advanced communications channels such as mobile telephony, data and the Internet. With an ambition to become a communications provider of choice, MTS is keen to support activities aimed at improving the lives of communities in our markets of operations. More about our CSR policy can be found here.

 

Our Armenian subsidiary provides a great case study of a local CSR effort. VivaCell-MTS is one of the most admired companies in Armenia as has been shown in its ability to gain market share and build strong relationships with the subscribers

VivaCell-MTS takes deliberate efforts to integrate CSR activities in its day-to-day operations in order to ensure resilient economic and social ties with the local community.

In 2008, our efforts in Armenia were primarily directed at the rural development under the “VivaCell-MTS to the regions” program. MTS helped to connect the local villages to gas and water supply systems, as well as renovate a number of schools and hospitals. In doing so, we were able to provide the population with much needed utilities such as electricity and heating.

In 2009, the theme for our social activities is “VivaCell-MTS to children” that will concentrate on the education, health and overall children’s well-being. We are already actively involved in programs to lower child mortality rates and in promoting environment education in schools throughout Armenia. Given the importance of social, health, environment and other projects to VivaCell-MTS, the Company has formally decided to rename Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into Corporate Responsibility (CR), highlighting the fact that our activities spread beyond pure social programs.

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MTS PARTNERS WITH ZENIT

вторник, апреля 07, 2009

We have recently signed a partnership agreement with FC Zenit St. Petersburg, one of the most successful football clubs in Russia. As the official partner of the club, MTS will provide Zenit with mobile communications services and will participate in various projects aimed at promoting the club.

Zenit has recently become one of the most recognized Russian sports brands, winning both the 2008 UEFA Cup and the 2008 UEFA Super Cup. We decided to become partners with Zenit due to its unique appeal in St. Petersburg and growing presence in the international football community.

MTS has a long and successful history of supporting sports. Most recently, we were the general partner of the Russian Olympic Committee and the official mobile communications provider of the Russian team during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. We have also supported Olympic Committees across the CIS countries where our network is present – in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Belarus.

MTS banners have already appeared at Zenit’s home stadium in St. Petersburg as was evident during a recent game with the Italian side Udinese Calcio in the 2009 UEFA Cup competition (http://www.uefa.com/competitions/uefacup/fixturesresults/round=15287/match=304837/index.html):

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