MTS blog


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trend shows that online loans and installment payment option stimulate the sales of premium mobile handsets. For the first three months of 2018, Russians spent RUB 95 bln on smartphones.

 The growth of demand for digital entertainment in high quality such as movies in HD, 4K videos, online TV, the exchange of "heavy" files in instant messengers, as well as the ability to comfortably transfer the everyday tasks online, encourage users to purchase expensive smartphones. In the first quarter of 2018, the fastest growing category of smartphones bought were priced at RUB 30,000 - 40,000, sales increased 73% in unit terms and 94% in monetary terms.

 The high price of advanced smartphones stimulates the growth of demand for credit. The number of applications for the loan in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 2.5 times compared to the same period last year. More than 60% of devices priced at more than RUB 30,000 are sold on credit. The average cost of gadgets purchased through this financial instrument grew by almost 30% to RUB 22,000.

The rapid growth of demand for digital entertainment encourages customers to choose premium high-quality mobile devices that have large displays, powerful processors and high definition cameras. An advanced smartphone can provide users with a "single window" for entertainment, while assisting in solving everyday tasks. It easily replaces several devices - a TV set, a camera, an e-book, navigator and a bank card. Moreover, a modern smartphone becomes an alternative to traditionally costly formats of offline recreation such as going to the cinema or theater or stadium. Household tasks are also easier to solve with the help of a smartphone and different apps: payment of housing and communal services, public services, taxi, food delivery and much more - all these services are much more comfortable to use on a large screen of a high-quality smartphone.

The high cost of advanced smartphones is offset by attractive loan offers. With the most popular loan term - 24 months - the cost of a monthly payment for a modern device will be about RUB 1,500, equal to one family visit of the cinema. Customers can apply for credit to purchase mobile handsets directly on MTS’s online store website. After completing a small questionnaire with their request, customers receive a decision from the bank within one or two minutes. In Q1 2018, every fifth purchase was made using this financial instrument.

For many customers, buying on credit without overpayment is a useful service that allows them to distribute the financial burden of buying a new handset over a longer period of time. Additionally, many customers purchase smartphones on credit as a convenient way to boost their credit rating, which they may find useful in the future to buy a car or take out a mortgage.

Olga Filippova, Director of the Department of Online Sales at MTS Retail, commented: "At the beginning of 2018, we launched a new technological platform for the MTS online shop, which made online shopping more comfortable. We have significantly increased the website’s speed and robustness as well as expanded our logistics capabilities and improved our courier delivery service. We are continuing to develop our Big Data capabilities; and by offering our subscribers personalized device recommendations through the My MTS app, our online store will be able to triple its turnover from this channel.” 

The Russian smartphone market continues to grow rapidly in monetary terms – in Q1 2018 sales increased by 25.5% y-o-y. In total, this quarter, Russians bought 6.3 million smartphones for a total sum of RUB 95 bln. In unit terms, the market remained almost unchanged demonstrating an increase of 2.7% y-o-y. 

 Demand is growing across all price segments with the exception of lower-end devices – sales of smartphones priced below RUB 5,000 (mainly Chinese brands) declined by 15% y-o-y in unit terms and 27% y-o-y in monetary terms. Smartphones priced at RUB 30,000 - 40,000 demonstrated the most impressive growth – sales increased by 73% in unit terms and by 94% in monetary terms. As a result, the average price of a smartphone grew to RUB 15,325 (+23.2% y-o-y). Consumers continue to look for high-end devices produced by top brands. In MTS retail stores, sales of handsets in this price segment showed even more significant growth – the upsurge in sales was at 209% in unit terms and at 231% in monetary terms. The main driver for such growth was the sale of devices like the iPhone 7, iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy A8. 

The most popular brands sold were Samsung, Apple and Huawei – together they accounted for roughly 70% (in monetary terms) of the overall smartphone market in Russia. Among these top 3 manufactures Huawei showed the fastest growth of 134.7%, while Apple and Samsung grew by 37.4% and 30.2% respectively. At the same time, sales of devices produced by other manufacturers dropped by 16.2%. 

According to MTS analysts, in March 2018, the Russian tablet market increased by 5% y-o-y for the first time after a constant consecutive decline over the last 15 quarters. This growth was attributable to the overall trend of consumers seeking more expensive and reliable devices that can provide easier access to digital entertainment services. While a year ago the average price of tablets that were sold was roughly RUB 6,000 (among the most popular devices were low-end brands such as Irbis, Lenovo and 4Good), in 2018, the average price amounted to RUB 10,000, an increase of 67%.

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MTS 2016 Sustainable Development Report: Improving the quality of life is a cornerstone of sustainable future.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The title of the recently published MTS 2016 Sustainable Development Report reflects the key goal of  our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy: to improve the quality of life and safety for its subscribers and the entire society by developing innovations and providing a wide range of services. As is now customary, in our 9th Sustainable Development Report, MTS provides detailed information on our activities, progress and results across the various CSR aspects – environmental, social and corporate – during the reporting period. 

Highlights from the 2016 Report include: 


Digitization is changing our life. MTS is supporting this change by developing innovative digital products to enrich and simplify our life experience including smart car insurance programs and Remote Data Reading solutions for housing and communal services. In 2016, MTS launched an integrated Smart House project, consisting of a set of tools to convert any apartment or house into an intelligent living environment. Last year, we also launched Wi-Fi Calling in Russia, which allows our subscribers to use MTS voice services on any available Wi-Fi network.  

Beginning in 2011, we have been the proud organizer of the annual open industry competition “Telecom Idea”. In 2016, the competition expanded its borders: events were held in 18 cities across Russia and collected more than 500 projects.

In 2016, MTS established a new department, the Innovation Center, totally devoted to the development of innovative products and services in areas such as Clouds, e-health, Smart Education and e-Sport. Last year, we also launched a new program to develop employee ideas and turn them into business projects, the Innovation Workshop.


We strongly feel that everyone, regardless of age, background or education, should be able to participate in digital society. Media literacy is key here, which is why MTS is involved in a variety of educational projects that help children, young people as well as adults to use new technologies safely and with confidence. 

In 2016, we continued with a number of educational projects such as “Network for All Ages”, “Mobile Academy of MTS” and “Children Teaching Adults”, designed to increase internet literacy among the older generation and promote the integration of modern information technologies into everyday life. 

For our younger audience, with the support of a variety of other partners, MTS has been running “Children on the Internet”, a program launched in 2011 for the purpose of promoting rules governing convenient and safe use of the Internet among children, parents and teachers. Since its inception, more than 340,000 students in more than 30 Russian regions underwent training as part of the project. 


Russia’s largest charitable project, “Generation M” is aimed at fostering children’s creativity while simultaneously raising funds for the treatment of severely-ill children. Today the project has over 100 informational partners across Russia and its internet audience exceeds 11 mln people. 

Over the past six years, MTS has been supporting the Corporate Volunteer Movement “JUST Give Good!” which aims to provide urgent assistance to children afflicted by serious illness. Launched in 2011, the program has proved extremely successful and today it involves around 6,000 MTS employees, who organized over 500 events in 2016. 

We are proud to say that the total expenditures of MTS Group on charity projects reached RUB 515.5mln in 2016. 


Pro-active development of MTS’ network improves the quality of mobile Internet and voice offering, allowing the launch of various innovative and helpful IoT services on our network. In a real-life example from 2016, MTS partnered with Tsentrleskhoz to arrange for video monitoring of the forest fire situation on the territory of the Moscow Region Forestry, making firefighting efforts significantly more effective.

As part of the implementation of the overall strategy for MTS to be an environmentally friendly business, we have decided to use eco-friendly packaging for our SIM cards. The first commercial shipments started in 2015, and since 2016, our SIM cards are only sold in eco-friendly packaging.

In 2016, our total expenses related to environmental initiatives amounted to RUB 14.4 mln. 


We are always looking to improve our corporate governance systems, constantly monitoring our efficiency and looking for to implement best practices. To remain at the forefront of corporate governance culture, in 2016 we launched an e-voting service allowing our shareholders to directly vote online.

MTS is actively developing a uniform compliance system in line with applicable legislation, recommendations of regulatory authorities, and international best practice. In 2016, MTS adopted the Compliance Policy of MTS PJSC. 


We also design and promote innovative cultural projects. Our “Mobile Library” and “Mobile Guide” initiatives offer an easy, quick and free way to download a favorite book or listen to a personal audio-tour using a QR code.


MTS Group supports its employees in leading a healthy lifestyle. Our comprehensive program, “Go in for Sports with MTS”, encourages employee participation in our football, basketball and volleyball teams, as well as the MTS Running movement. In 2016, the Company established a cycle club # VeloMTS.


Recognizing the importance of human capital in the development of our business, MTS invests considerable resources towards career development and education initiatives for our employees. In 2016, our personnel training and development system was recognized the Best in Russia and received several coveted awards.  We operate a Corporate University that offers internal, external and long-distance education aimed at professional and personal development. Last year, MTS reintroduced its Virtual Academy, a unique training platform for individual development with a large choice of webinars, online courses and workshops.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

We are pleased to share with you a new report on M2M/IoT Market in Russia we produced using MTS’s proprietary data for H1 2016. The key highlihgts of the report are the following:

- Russian M2M/IoT market as of H1 2016 increased 33% from RUB 225 bln to RUB 300 bln year-over-year;

- Market growth has been driven by demand for Big Data solutions. Sales growth can be attributed mainly to devices and apps for analyzing big volumes of data (the share of which grew by 2 percentage points to 55%), software for data analytics (share growth of 1 percentage point to 27%) and to platforms for SIM-cards intellectual management (share growth of 3 percentage points to 20%). On the other hand, simple telematics solutions showed no growth and constituted 1% share in operators’ sales on M2M/IoT market;

- M2M SIM-card market in Russia grew in volume by 30% to 7.8 mln from 6 mln in the previous year. MTS’ share was 52%. MTS served 4 mln M2M SIM-cards by the end of H1 2016, an increase of 25% from H1 2015;

- Total revenue from IoT solutions increased by 1.7x, which reflects an increased contribution from service platforms and software, as well as from sales and maintenance of equipment carried out by MTS’s wholly owned subsidiary, NVision Group. LTE-based products show the highest growth, together with service platforms and software for data analytics from M2M gadgets; overall sales tripled last year;

- Traffic from telematics services on MTS LTE network by the end of H1 2016 increased by 1.6x from H1 2015; 3G-based solutions grew only by 7% and those using 2G-only network solutions decreased by 5%.


You can download the report below.

MTS M2M Report - H1 2016.pdf (888,92 kb)

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Thursday, July 07, 2016

We have recently released a report on MTS retail network in Russia for H1 2016. 

You can download the report by the link below.

H1_2016_Retail_report.pdf (322,48 kb)


Friday, May 20, 2016

We have issued a report on consumption of mobile internet and value-added services (VAS) by corporate users in Q1 2016, based on depersonalized big data analysis.

Highlights of the report:

- Connections to VAS in the small and medium business segment doubled in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015, whilst connections in the big business segment grew 1.5 times

- Two segments of the VAS market account for the greatest demand – these are services which help to boost sales (VAS services) and services which increase efficiency in business operations

- Big businesses have greater demand for cloud services and solutions for remote data storage and processing

- Consumption of mobile traffic by corporate users has doubled in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015

- The share of 4G traffic as part of total mobile traffic has tripled

You can download the complete report through this link: 

160520_Research on B2B data and VAS usage.pdf (732,40 kb)

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Friday, April 01, 2016

We have recently released a new report on mobile retail market in Russia for 2015. 

You can download the report below.

MTS Retail Report 2015.pdf (909.20 kb)

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M2M REPORT, 2015

Thursday, March 03, 2016

We have recently released a new report on M2M (machine-to-machine) market in Russia for 2015. 

You can download the report below.

MTS M2M Report - 2015.pdf (964.36 kb)

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Vedomosti reports today that according to a report by TMT Consulting, MTS was the fastest growing Internet provider in Russia in 2015. The report suggests that MTS increased its customer base of high-speed internet users by 7% year-over-year to 2.8 mln customers. Overall in Russia, the number of customers connected to high-speed internet rose 3.6% versus 5% in 2014.

Key drivers for MTS’s market-leading growth include the modernization of its regional networks, which allowed MTS to expand its base by upselling its customers, many of whom use analogue pay-TV solutions, FTTB (Fiber-to-the-Building) high-speed internet solutions. In 2015, MTS also completed its GPON project in Moscow, which allows its subsidiary, MGTS, to offer speeds of up to 1 GB/s to its customers.

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Friday, February 05, 2016

We would like to share with you key findings on Internet-traffic usage in MTS network:

Over the course of 2015, the volume of 4G traffic doubled, while the total volume of internet consumption increased by 1.5x

By the end of 2015, we had 7.5 mln LTE devices connected to MTS’s network, of which 4.3 mln were active mobile Internet users, two times as much as last year. 

Online video, music, social networks and messenger services accounted for 60% of total traffic consumption in 2015 (50% in 2014). Detailed structure of mobile traffic is shown below:

The increase in mobile Internet traffic usage is also being driven by the rising penetration of smartphones among MTS clients due to company’s retail strategies. In 2015, b-branded (i.e. non-premium brand) smartphones (represented in categories “other” and “Alcatel” combined) increased their share to 35% from 28% among MTS clients. Samsung maintained its share with 26%, while the share of Apple’s iPhone slightly fell to 20% from 21% in 2014. 

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Last week Sberbank CIB launched "Ivanov Consumer Confidence Tracker" with an aim to establish and track trends in confidence, spending patterns and savings habits among Russian consumers. The research focuses on consumption patterns of the Russian middle class, whom the report dubs The Ivanovs.

Key findings of the report include:

-     While 2012 was challenging in terms of personal income and concerns over the direction of the Russian economy, most consumers are now more optimistic and expect an improvement in their personal situation in 2013

-     While optimistic, the majority of consumers is still not yet confident enough to make major purchases. Most people are holding back from big-ticket purchases while waiting for further evidence of better economic growth.

Sberbank-CIB analysts have collected strong evidence of the growing economic power of the Russian middle class:

-     Based on the OECD definitions, 55% of Russian households can be considered ‘middle class’ compared to 30% in Brazil, 21% in China and 11% in India. Wealthy households are also more numerous with 15% of Russian households boasting annual income above $50,000 compared to 5% in Brazil, 2% in China and 1% in India.

-     On a forecast GDP per capita in Russia of just over $16,000 at the end of 2013, Sberbank-CIB estimates that it will take more than a decade for other emerging markets to reach this figure: 25 years for India, 20 years for China, 17 years for South Africa and 11 years for Brazil.

-     Russia is the world’s fifth biggest consumer market, by spending volume and is set to overtake Germany as Europe’s biggest market and the world’s fourth largest consumer market by 2020.

-     Since 2000 retail spending has grown at Compound Annual Growth Rate of 20% and, in 2012, totaled just under $700 bln. More than half of that total is non-food related.

We list below some of the report findings relevant to MTS. A full report is available for Sberbank-CIB clients only. 

The Ivanovs display high brand loyalty to telecommunication providers. Only 6% of respondents want to switch to another mobile operator. The data suggest that churn rate in this social strata is not likely to increase significantly when mobile number portability is introduced in December 2013.

The report also presents evidence of very low debt leverage of the middle class as only 17% of respondents spend more than 20% of income on debt servicing, while 61% spend zero. This implies a strong potential for development of financial services among the middle class. The survey also looked into the ways consumers communicate with the banks and highlights "bank branches" as a primary way of contact with credit organizations. Mobile banking penetration is relatively low and is likely to grow in prominence going forward.

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