Thursday, May 27, 2010
We have launched commercial 3G network in Belarus this week. The network is based on the HSPA+ technology, allowing up to 21 Mbit/s download and 11 Mbit/s upload speeds. The network is currently available in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and will be expanded to the major cities and regional centers of the country by the end of the year.
In addition, we have fulfilled our 3G license requirement for the commercial 3G network in Russia following the launch of the network in the last remaining federal subject, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. As of today, MTS has commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects.
The conditions of the IMT-2000/UMTS license that we have received in April 2007 stipulated that we had to launch commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects by May 2010.
We have talked extensively about the development of 3G networks in Russia in our blog, including the growth in mobile internet in Russia and the launch of the network in Moscow and the Moscow Metro. MTS is constantly expanding its network, and, since the beginning of 2009, geographic area of 3G coverage in Russia grew 3.7 times.
During the first quarter of 2010, 3G traffic on MTS’ network in Russia grew 10.9 times year-on-year. The share of 3G in total traffic has increased to 59% in Q1 2010 from 28% in Q1 2009. The most avid 3G users reside in Sochi, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Novorossiysk, Surgut, Kemerovo, Samara, Kazan and Vladivostok, where 3G was launched for some time now.
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 Omlet.ru, MTS’ online and mobile content portal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Last week, we launched Omlet.ru
– an online and mobile content portal that offers the largest selection of licensed videos, music and games. The goal behind this is to further stimulate our content revenues, which already contribute significantly to our performance. For example, content revenues for the full year 2008 were around 9 billion rubles with the second quarter 2009 revenues growing 31% year-on-year.
The new content portal is unique to our markets as it offers a high degree of interoperability between mobile devices and PCs / laptops as well as the necessary flexibility in terms of access network (e.g. EDGE vs. 3G) and phone model. Omlet.ru
also offers a “dual delivery” system, whereby purchased music tracks can be downloaded to both a mobile device and a computer.
Given the nature of our business, MTS is best positioned to offer paid content as we already have the necessary financial arrangements with our subscribers and can utilize their pre-paid accounts for content purchases. This differs from the Western markets where the vast majority of content stores rely on credit card payments whereas the Russian credit market is still its early development stages.
By the virtue of our customer base and brand recognition, our content portal has already become a major force in the Russian Internet space. In test mode since April 2009, the portal attracted around 1.5 million users. It must be noted that there is a lack of legal content providers in Russia at the moment, and piracy is widespread. MTS is one of a few companies able to sign partnerships with the entertainment industry’s major players. Recently, we signed an agreement with Paramount Pictures that allows our customers to watch streaming videos for free and download them for a price lower than they would pay for a pirated copy on the streets.