April 16, 2008, Wed 5:18 PM Telecom
MTS hopes to launch 3G networks in Moscow into exploitation in 2009, says Mikhail Shamolin, MTS vice-president, MTS Russian director, RBC reports. According to Mr. Shamolin, the company should receive corresponding frequencies and prove 3G equipment compatibility with that of the RF Ministry of Defence. A compatibility testing has currently been launched in Moscow. Mikhail Shamolin explains ‘3G equipment is unlikely to cause noise in the subway and buildings but there are several compatibility issues to be resolved in the streets’. He does not exclude the network might be launched in late 2008. ‘We are optimistic’, - says MTS vice-president.
Mikhail Shamolin recollects in 2008 3G networks will be launched in several cities, such as Sochi, Kazan, Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg. ‘We intend to launch networks in most Russian cities in the shortest time possible’, - he says.
MTS (Mobile TeleSystems) is the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS. Together with its subsidiaries, the Company services over 72.86 million subscribers. The regions of Russia, 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. MTS completed its IPO and listed its Level III ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange in July 2000, under the symbol MBT. The Company’s shares have been listed locally on MICEX since November 2003, under the symbol MTSI. The Company’s GDRs are also traded in Europe. The free float of the Company’s shares is approximately 46.7%. MTS is 52.8% majority-owned by Sistema, the largest private sector consumer services company in Russia and the CIS. The company’s consolidated revenues in the first quarter of 2007 reached $1,741mln.