MTS blog


FIRST MTS-BRANDED ANDROID PHONE LAUNCHED

понедельник, ноября 29, 2010

We have recently launched the first MTS-branded Android handset, the MTS 916, through our retail network. It’s a 3G enabled phone with a 3.4 megapixel camera and a 2.8 inch screen. At RUB 5,990, the smartphone currently provides buyers in the Russian market with the lowest entry price as devices with similar functions are in the range of RUB 7,000–30,000. 

In line with the global trends, Android phones are becoming increasingly popular in Russia. According to the data compiled by MTS, sales of Android phones in the third quarter of 2010 accounted for 18% of the overall smartphone sales in Russia. This is expected to reach 25-30% by year’s end.

MTS-branded phones are in great demand on the back of affordable prices and unique value propositions. In September 2010 sales of MTS-branded handsets constituted around 17% of the sales in our retail network. To see the full list of MTS-branded handsets, please follow the link.

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MVNO WITH X5 RETAIL GROUP

понедельник, мая 17, 2010
    

Last week we signed an agreement to create a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) using MTS’ network with the X5 Retail Group N.V., Russia’s largest retailer in terms of sales. X5 will offer its customers special tariffs that they can subscribe to at the Perekrestok and Karusel stores in Moscow and the Moscow region. It is expected that the launch will take place by the end of summer 2010. This is the second project that MTS has concluded as part of its efforts to expand its distribution channels. Previously, in May 2009, MTS partnered with Auchan, one of the world’s largest food retailers, enabling the company to offer its A-Mobile tariff plan through its stores in Russia.

MTS will dedicate a pool of available telephone numbers to the MVNO and provide X5 subscribers with a full package of mobile communications services, including voice communications and standard services such as roaming, mobile Internet, SMS and MMS. Using its own label, X5 will set the tariffs, attract and service subscribers and ensure in-store information support for the offering.
 
X5’s MVNO platform will be automatically linked to the loyalty bonus system of the Perekrestok and Karusel retail chains, enabling subscribers to exchange points accumulated under the loyalty bonus programs for mobile services. The MVNO will have its own website for customer information in addition to a dedicated call center.

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REBRANDING COMSTAR

вторник, мая 11, 2010
Today we announced our plans to offer Comstar’s products and services under the MTS brand by the end of 2011. After the rebranding is completed, MTS will offer a full range of fixed and mobile communication products under the MTS brand throughout Russia, expanding the presence of our brand and leveraging its strength to sell additional products. We will keep the MGTS brand for fixed telephony in Moscow, as it is one of oldest brands in Russia with roots in the 19th century.

The MTS brand has been recognized as the most powerful and valuable brand in Russia for the last three years by the annual BrandZ ranking published by the Financial Times and Millward Brown. Given the popularity of the MTS brand in its markets of operation, where the Company is renowned for its quality of services and its ability to introduce new innovative products and services, it is logical that we have decided to use the MTS brand for our combined services portfolio.

The rebranding of Comstar-UTS will include the gradual phase out of the Stream brand used for fixed broadband and pay TV products. Eventually, consumers in Russia will be able to get a full range of telecommunications services under the MTS brand, including mobile and fixed voice, broadband, pay TV and content and entertainment services. In addition, Stream and Comstar retail stores will be rebranded to MTS, while MTS stores will start offering a range of consumer products from Comstar.

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MTS LAUNCHES OFFICE ZONE BILLING

вторник, апреля 13, 2010

Last week, MTS launched a new service aimed at encouraging business enterprises to adopt mobile communications. The new service, dubbed “Business Territory”, provides special calling rates for mobile communications both within a customer’s office and extending 500 meters from the office location.

Though prices vary by region, in Moscow the service costs 1,200 rubles per month per line, and each line gets 3,000 calling minutes per month. The service is an add-on to current corporate tariff plans allowing enterprises to switch to mobile communications at a price comparable to fixed line. The service should be of particular interest to companies that do not have installed fixed-line telephony, something common among small businesses and non-commercial ventures.

We are noticing that many enterprises are gradually increasing their usage of mobile compared to fixed-line telephony, and we expect the new service to be of interest to over 7% of our corporate subscribers and up to 16% of corporate subscribers who are not yet clients of MTS. According to research conducted by MTS, 42% of surveyed companies would have chosen only mobile communications provided the associated costs were comparable to those of a fixed line service.

MTS is providing a great degree of flexibility with the new office zone billing service. All corporate customers, ranging from small businesses to large corporations, can subscribe to the service and combine it with virtually any tariff plan. Customers can select specific locations for the special zones and can change them in case of office relocation. A company can add the service to as many mobile lines as it deems necessary.

According to the research company ROMIR, at the end of 2009, 49% of surveyed companies in Russia were enterprise customers of MTS.

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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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GUEST POST FROM IDC: MTS AND SMALL BUSINESSES

пятница, сентября 25, 2009
By Timothy Doherty, Research Analyst for Small and Medium Business Mobility Markets for IDC

IDC has recently published a report examining the small and medium business initiatives of MTS, and we wanted to share the key insights here on the MTS IR Blog.

As in other regions worldwide, the small and medium-business (SMB) market in Russia represents a significant untapped revenue opportunity for operators, but presents a number of challenges. SMBs typically have fewer IT resources than large enterprises to rely on when making technology purchase decisions, making customer education vital. Although the SMB market in aggregate constitutes a substantial opportunity, each individual customer represents a relatively modest volume; efficiencies in marketing and ongoing customer support are therefore of paramount importance. MTS has implemented a number of strategies in its core Russian market to target the small and medium-sized business market.

Like SMB-savvy operators in the United States and Western Europe, MTS is leveraging an SMB web portal to better manage its SMB customers. Online portals not only allow direct payments, but also let customers explore and opt in and out of services. Given the vast size of Russia, the web portal is one of the efficient ways MTS can interact with subscribers and provide customer support.

While enterprises frequently have a dedicated operator support representative to rely on, this model is not cost-effective for SMBs. Still, to cultivate customer loyalty and sell deeper into customers, some sort of support relationship must exist. Akin to small business specialists at other operators in more developed markets in North America and Europe, MTS has small business curators: development managers who analyze service usage by customers and promote the benefits of additional services. The curator program allows MTS to educate its existing customer base and sell through additional phone lines and services; since the launch of the program, MTS reports that a typical small business customer initially purchases two lines, but adds another four lines inside the first 6 months.

To get more insight into the MTS work in the SMB market, please refer to our recent report.

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NEW DEVICES AT MTS STORES

вторник, сентября 08, 2009

As we have discussed before on this blog, we believe that distribution of exclusive and innovative handsets through the MTS monobrand retail network is key to subscriber acquisition, usage growth and customer retention. For Russian consumers, the purchase of a handset is very much an emotional purchase that we see as being key in strengthening their ties with MTS in order to encourage more loyal behavior. By signing exclusive deals with leading device manufacturers, we will be able to drive greater customer traffic to MTS stores and gain competitive advantage over our peers. Selling handsets through MTS stores will also allow us to customize these phones and pre-install handset-specific software and applications to drive data and content usage.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have launched a number of new phones:


The new MTS-branded phone, MTS 236, is the first device to be sold in Russia under the MTS brand through the partnership with Vodafone. The phone was developed by ZTE for Vodafone. MTS 236 is an entry-level phone, priced at RUB 890 (around $28), that will be offered with a Super Zero tariff.


HTC Hero (promo site: http://hero.mts.ru), the first Android phone to be sold in Russia, is arriving to our retail network this week. For the first month, the phone will be sold exclusively through our stores with an introductory offer of free 100 Mb Internet traffic for three months. The phone features such high-end specifications as multi-touch touchscreen, 3G HSDPA/WCDMA capability, Wi-Fi and a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus. It will be sold for RUB 22,990 (around $733).


Samsung BEATDJ (promo site: www.omlet.ru/samsung), the new flagship Samsung device aimed specifically at music fans. The phone is to be sold exclusively at MTS stores for a month following the launch, and we are offering a few music tracks for free to encourage usage of our online content store, Omlet.ru (more on that in upcoming blog posts). The phone features multi-touch touchscreen, 3G HSDPA/WCDMA access, 3 megapixel camera and a 50 Mb internal storage capacity. It is priced at RUB 14,990 (around $478).

By the end of the year, we will launch more MTS-branded phones that we will deliver through the Vodafone partnership. We aim to continue to offer exclusive flagship devices such as Nokia N97 or HTC Hero in our markets.

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MTS SEGMENTATION RECOGNIZED AS WORLD CLASS

четверг, сентября 03, 2009
MTS recently won the 2009 Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award for our customer segmentation. We were recognized in the Consumer Services category for the robust approach we took to deliver most suitable products and services across our footprint of 6 countries with a total population of over 230 million. We became the first company in our markets to be recognized for customer segmentation, a testament to the fact that we have implemented world class solution.

To develop our customer segmentation, we have partnered with Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks. In fact, you can view a case study of the work we have done together on their website: http://www.kantar.com/#/what-we-do/watch/mts-data-mining-across-territories

Approaching six markets with significant economic and cultural differences, we intended to create a common language and a consistent platform that would allow us to offer better tailored services as well as make our marketing effort more efficient. This overarching platform was meant to guide the development, implementation and evaluation of all our marketing initiatives and improve marketing effectiveness of the MTS Group.

To this end, we have implemented multi-market macro segmentation, aiming for unique consistency of approach and a new level of accountability. Our segmentation is based on the needs, attitudes and the actual usage dynamics, taken both from market surveys across our markets and customer databases, allowing to define segments more consistently and address them with maximum efficiency.

A particularly unique aspect of our segmentation approach, one that’s on the leading edge of global marketing practice, is that it is directly linked to our customer base. This allows us to set and measure segment-specific metrics when we launch a new customer offer, such as the size of the segment, revenues, ARPU, MOU and many others.

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FLAGSHIP STORE IN MOSCOW

вторник, августа 25, 2009



Earlier in August, we have opened the doors of our new flagship store in Moscow. The new store is located on the first floor of the Evropeiskiy shopping center, one of the more popular locations with the residents of Moscow. Around 190,000 people visit the center daily and over 220,000 per day come there during the weekend, according to the data provided by the shopping center.

The new flagship store is part of the development of MTS’ monobrand retail network in Russia, which includes the acquisition of multibrand retailers, increasing franchisees and the rebranding and optimization of existing locations. The key focus of MTS’ retail strategy is to provide personalized customer service and better tailored products, including exclusive devices bundled with applications developed by MTS. For instance, we have recently launched Nokia’s N97 mobile computer exclusively in our retail network.

The new flagship store has been developed using global best practices. We have particularly benefited from our partnership with Vodafone, whereby we have been able to draw from their experience operating retail networks around the world. The key feature of the store lies in its open lay-out with the majority of the retail space dedicated to handsets and devices. Customer can also handle and test the devices, something that has not been possible in Russian retail before.



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NOKIA N97 IN RUSSIA

среда, июня 17, 2009


On June 11, 2009, MTS began selling the Nokia N97 mobile computer in Russia. Of more than 75 countries, Russia became one of the first markets to offer the device.

Based on the strategic partnership agreement with Nokia, the N97 will be initially sold exclusively through the MTS retail chain, as well as Nokia stores, across Russia. To support the introduction, MTS launched a special website to help subscribers familiarize themselves with the device – http://www.n97.mts.ru

MTS has developed a range of exclusive applications for the N97 that includes weather updates, FOREX rates, newsfeeds, blogging tools, maps and dictionaries. These applications will be distributed on a free 2 GB micro-SD memory card to all subscribers purchasing the new phone at the MTS stores.

In addition, we have initiated a joint marketing campaign with Nokia in Russia to promote the device, our first effort in promoting an exclusive device under the MTS brand (an example of a billboard ad can be seen below).

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Follow me, Josh Tulgan, MTS Director for Corporate Finance and Investor Relations, on twitter

Twitter декабря 14, 10:55
Contribution of #digital economy in Russia's GDP is 2.1%, while #mobile economy - 3.8% https://t.co/ZWEDIV22PC

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