MTS ACHIEVES FULL 2G COVERAGE IN RUSSIA WITH ENTRY INTO PENZA
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
We are pleased to announce that MTS recently received a GSM 900 MHz license in the Penza region giving the Company full 2G coverage in Russia. The license was awarded on April 19, 2011 by the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (ROSKOMNADZOR) as part of the tender for the GSM 900 frequencies. It is expected that the Company will begin construction of its 2G network in the near future following receipt of the necessary approvals.
MTS already provides mobile voice and data services in the region under its IMT-2000/UMTS (3G) federal license using the HSPA+ standard in the city of Penza, the region’s administrative center, following full commercial launch on December 21, 2010 The first segment of the 3G network was launched in the city of Penza in May 2010. The network currently supports data transfer speeds of up to 21 Mbps, which can be increased to 42 Mbps, and is one of the most advanced mobile networks in Russia. During the first half of 2011, the Company plans to expand coverage to additional five cities and along main transportation arteries.
We also have a fixed-line presence in the region after our acquisition in June 2010 of Penza Telecom, the leading local alternative operator offering broadband internet and cable television services in the cities of Penza and Zarechny. Combined our mobile and fixed assets provide us with a great opportunity to offer convergent products to our subscribers be it voice telephony, internet access, cable television or content, as well as unified billing and centralized customer care. The ability to offer 2G services will benefit both the mass market and the corporates though provision of universal intranetwork roaming and greater coverage of the Penza region. We currently have 15 own stores and around 100 points of sale in the region. MTS will be expanding its retail presence to further stimulate demand for the Company’s products and to better engage existing and prospective subscribers.