MTS blog

Andrei Ushatsky speaks with Mobile Europe

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Andrei Ushatsky, CTO, spoke with Graeme Neill, editor for Mobile Europe, about technological challenges faced by MTS ahead of World Cap, 5G and IoT boom. Click here to read the full article.

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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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Friday, July 01, 2016

MTS carried out a research on the use of services by our customers, while traveling inside Russia during the beginning of summer tourist season in May and June of this year.

The number of tourists traveling within Russia increased by 11% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the number of data-users among those who travel increased by 21%. Data traffic itself increased by 96%, the volume of outcoming calls increased by around 90% and SMS-usage increased by 40%. These numbers reflect the fact that subscribers are using more data in roaming, due to MTS's more transparent voice & data (V&D) “Smart” tariffs, which today represent more than 50% share of tariff sales through MTS’s proprietary retail distribution. Another major factor for the increase in data-usage is the fact that MTS boasts the largest LTE-coverage by regions. According to data published by Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, MTS has the highest number of LTE base stations and the fastest mobile broadband in Russia.

Moscow remains the leading city in terms of tourists, and data-traffic volume in Moscow has increased by 2.5x year-over-year, a result driven by a twofold-increase in mobile internet speeds compared with last year.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

In June 2016, the share of LTE-enabled smartphones in sales all over Russia exceeded 50% for the first time. In May 2016, Russian retailers sold 2.6x more LTE-enabled smartphones than a year ago. This achievement can be attributed to the fact that the average price of an LTE-enabled smartphone declined by 20% y-o-y to RUB 18,200.

In MTS’s retail network, sales of LTE-enabled smartphones broke through the 50% barrier in April 2016, while in May, LTE-enabled smartphones represented around 52% of total smartphone sales.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

MTS, in partnership with Ericsson, has successfully tested a 5G technology solution - LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed) - by aggregating two frequencies – 10 MHz at the LTE-1800 MHz and 20 MHz at the unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum range - at Wi-Fi spots. During testing, we realized speeds up to 200 Mb/sec.

This successful test on MTS networks is the first fruit from our agreement with Ericsson aimed at developing and implementing 5G technologies in Russia, which we signed in December 2015. Aggregation of two networks’ resources – LTE and unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum - allows for better internet speeds indoors, better coverage and enhanced network quality.

In addition, MTS and Ericsson signed an agreement for the supply of software for upgrading MTS’s radio network through 2018, by which the companies will implement Internet of things (IoT) solutions for 5G networks and test radio interface EC-GSM-IoT (Extended Coverage GSM IoT), a technology which enables operations of M2M devices in operators’ current cellular networks.

EC-GSM-IoT technology significantly reduces the cost and accelerates the deployment of IoT ecosystems. Due to the economical use of the frequency spectrum, new radio interface allows for a multifold increase in the number of operating devices in the M2M network. Due to the increased sensitivity of radio modules, the technology provides for a seven-fold expansion of the range of devices, as well as a reduction in their energy consumption. The implementation of this technology does not require a large-scale replacement of equipment, and, in most cases, the software upgrade can be installed on the radio network nodes. This means that an operator can create an IoT environment virtually anywhere where GSM coverage is available and connect tens of thousands of devices within an area of one base station - where current mobile devices may not "access" a radio signal.

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Friday, June 03, 2016

MTS announces, that it will launch the first fragment of 4G that is an aggregation of spectrum in LTE FDD and LTE TDD standards in Moscow before September 2016 and later in other Russian regions. The aggregation of the two standards will enhance LTE coverage and increase speeds up to 187 Mb/s.

During the testing phase, MTS successfully aggregated the first fragment of its LTE commercial network by combining two carrier frequencies: 10 MHz spectrum bandwidth at the FDD 1,800 MHz standard and a 20 MHz bandwidth at the TDD 2,600 MHz standard. This resulted in increased internet speeds of up to 165 Mb/s outdoors, 85 Mb/s indoors, while the maximum limit was 187 Mb/s. At the same time, the spectrum aggregation directly improved coverage of a LTE TDD base station by 60%, while enhancing the quality of TDD network coverage inside the buildings.

In another set of tests, MTS successfully aggregated three LTE FDD carrier frequencies at the 800 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2,600 MHz ranges with corresponding spectrum widths of 5 MHz, 10 MHz and 10 MHz. As a result, internet speeds exceeded 163 Mb/s, which is a strong result considering that on a standalone basis the speed would not exceed 112 Mb/s.

Both types of aggregation can work simultaneously, while the system determines automatically the optimal regime depending on network conditions and mobile carrier capabilities.

In Moscow, MTS serves over half of its data traffic over LTE, and the share is steadily growing. The aggregation of FDD and TDD standards will almost double average mobile internet speeds and multiply the effective network coverage of TDD technology by 2.5x. This technique will put MTS customers in a privileged position all over Russia since MTS won a 2,595-2,620 MHz LTE TDD federal spectrum auction in February 2016, while MTS has already been serving Moscow and the Moscow region since 2012 on this LTE standard. Already since the beginning of 2016, the number of LTE-TDD enabled devices has increased by more than 20%.

Development of LTE by MTS

- In Spring 2015, MTS launched a new step towards developing LTE in Russian regions by betting on tech-neutral and multi-range LTE network. To this day, MTS launched tech-neutral LTE-1,800 spectrum in 35 regions and LTE-Advanced with two aggregated frequencies (1,800+2,600 MHz or LTE 800+2,600 MHz) in 25 regions.

- By the end of 2015, MTS was the first Russian telecom operator to launch LTE in all 83 regions where it operated. 

- Since the beginning of 2016, MTS - in cooperation with Cisco – has been implementing a new solution called Cisco SON on its LTE network, which through an automated optimization process can improve internet speeds by 20% on average, enhance network access by 25% and decreases the amount of connection abruptions by 10%.

- Throughout 2015, MTS increased its Moscow LTE network by 50%, while quadrupling the number of indoor base stations.


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

MTS won a spectrum auction today in Russia and has gained a lot in the 2.6 Ghz frequency range to provide services on the LTE-TDD standard. The spectrum block is valid throughout Russia and will be used to strengthen LTE network capabilities. The results of the tender give MTS a 25MHz block in the 2.6 GHz range, which we currently use to provision service primarily for USB modems, tablets and certain smartphone devices.

The total cost of the spectrum was RUB 4.0 bln. The license is valid for 10 years.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

As part of our commitment to environmentally friendly solutions, MTS has installed the first LTE base station powered by hydrogen fuel cells in Russia in the Noginsky district of the Moscow region.

The introduction of hydrogen power for LTE expands MTS’ portfolio of green energy sources, which already includes wind and solar powered stations across Russia from the Barents Sea to the Sea of Japan. Previously MTS has used hydrogen cells in its 2G and 3G networks and the company is now the first in Russia to use them for LTE.

The use of the hydrogen fuel cell brings both environmental and commercial benefits, as not only does it create zero carbon emissions but it is also more cost efficient and last five times longer than electrochemical cells. A further advantage is the long reserve power of the cell, which means that the station can continue to function for an extended period, even in the absence of direct source of powe supply, as the reserve module will turn on automatically.


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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

We are pleased to share with you our a new report on the smartphone market in Russia in Q2 2015 based on the estimates of our retail chain.

Highhlights of the report include:

- In Q2 2015, the Russian smartphone market grew by 4.1% year-over-year to RUB 48.7 bln.

- Roughly, 5 mln smartphones were sold in Russia during the period which represents a decline of 9.2% compared to Q2 2014.

Sales of smartphones in the MTS retail stores in rubles grew by 40.7% year-over-year and by 33.6% quarter-over-quarter, while the volume of smartphones sold in MTS’s stores in Q2 2015 increased by 36.2% year-over-year.


You can download the full report below.

Smartphone Market Report Q2_2015_FIN.pdf (1.02 mb)

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Andrei Ushatskiy, MTS Vicre President, Technology and IT, participated in a Global Telcoms Business  roundtable discussion of the leading telecom CTOs. Andrei commented on the challenges in rolling-out LTE networks, potential for VoLTE deployment and transition to a new technological paradigm post LTE. Clicke here to read the article.

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