Big three win Russian 3G lic

Russia’s top three mobile operators, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), VimpelCom and MegaFon, won licences to operate 3G services in the country on Friday.

In accordance with the licensing conditions, the winning companies are required to begin commercial 3G services within two years of receiving the licence.

MTS, the country’s biggest operator, said it plans to launch HSDPA 3G services in the largest cities in Russia starting from the second half of this year. MTS’ is expected to invest around $1bn over the next three years to build the next generation network.

VimpelCom said it plans to launch 3G operations Moscow by the end of the year, while MegaFon is not expected to start construction of its new network until 2008.

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