Moscow, Russian Federation – Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (“MTS” – NYSE: MBT), the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, announces the launch of 3G networks in Chelyabinsk and Irkutsk, bringing the total count of cities to 10.
Chelyabinsk and Norilsk are the latest additions to the expanding geography of MTS’ 3G networks across the Russian regions. MTS launched the first pan-regional 3G network in Russia in May 2008 in St. Petersburg followed by Sochi, Yekaterinburg and Kazan. In August 2008, MTS expanded its 3G network to Nizhniy Novgorod. In September 2008, the Company brought next-generation networks to Novosibirsk and Norilsk, the two large industrial centers in Siberia, and Vladivostok, the largest city in the Russian Far East.
“We are seeing very strong demand for data services in the regions where 3G networks were launched,” noted Mr. Aleksander Popovskiy, Head of MTS Russia. “For example, in Yekaterinburg we saw mobile Internet traffic grow more than 30% in three months following the launch of the network. We believe that the residents of Chelyabinsk and Irkutsk will also become avid users of our services available on our 3G network.”
MTS intends to launch 3G networks in at least 14 cities during 2008 and in up to 40 cities in Russia through 2009. The Company also holds 3G licenses in Uzbekistan and Armenia, where the networks are scheduled for launch in 2009.
Development of 3G networks is a cornerstone of MTS’ strategy to provide mobile broadband in the CIS. With relatively low levels of fixed-line penetration and historic underinvestment in infrastructure throughout the markets of operation, MTS views its networks as an ideal vehicle to meet the growing broadband Internet needs of subscribers through attractive data products and services.
For further information, please contact:
Mobile TeleSystems, Moscow
tel: +7 495 223 2025
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (“MTS”) is the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS. Together with its subsidiaries, the Company services over 88.47 million subscribers. The regions of Russia, as well as Armenia, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, in which MTS and its associates and subsidiaries are licensed to provide GSM services, have a total population of more than 230 million. Since June 2000, MTS’ Level 3 ADRs have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol MBT).
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 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, 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, risks associated with operating in Russia and the CIS, volatility of stock price, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks.