Russia

“Strange” Apple LTE policy omits Asian and Russian networks

Apple will next week add another 36 networks to the selection of carriers that are permitted to offer the iPhone 5 with LTE support enabled. Tim Cook, CEO of the handset vendor, made the revelation as part of the company’s earnings call earlier this week. However, the expanded list does not extend to carriers in parts of Asia and Russia.

VimpelCom and Megafon take equal share in Russian retailer

International operator VimpelCom and Russian operator Megafon have taken joint ownership of Russian handset retailer Euroset. Through its fully-owned Russian subsuduary, Vimpelcom has increased its stake in the retailer by 0.1 per cent to now own 50 per cent of the firm. The other 50 per cent has been acquired for $1.07bn by Lefbord Investments Limited, a company owned by MegaFon and Garsdale Services Investment.

Russia ends VimpelCom legal action

The Russian government has decided to withdraw legal claims against Norwegian operator group Telenor, signaling an end to the long-running dispute over the ownership of affiliate firm VimpelCom. The move allows the international operator, headquartered in Amsterdam but of Russian extraction, to distribute dividends to investors including Russian conglomerate Altimo.

MTS targets ‘unbanked’ Russian market

Russian telecoms operator MTS is planning to provide banking services to customers that lack a traditional bank account, following an agreement to purchase a 25.09 per cent stake in MTS Bank.

Smartphone sales to soar as Russia joins WTO

Smartphone penetration in Russia is set to soar after the country joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week. The country has finally been given membership of the organisation after an 18-year wait, and will benefit from lower charges being levied on imports and cheaper products in shops for Russian consumers.

Russia escapes broadband crunch as others falter

While many markets around the world have seen lower than expected growth over the past three years in terms of broadband adoption, Russia has bucked the trend by posting big growth figures, according to UK research firm Point Topic.

VimpelCom gets new CEO as Izosimov leaves again

The chief executive of second placed Russian carrier VimpelCom, Alexander Izosimov, is to step down at the end of June. Izosimov will be leaving on a high, having engineered the somewhat controversial merger with Orascom Telecom parent Weather, which created the world’s fifth largest mobile carrier.

Russian carriers shift to all IP backhaul

Russia’s mobile operators are moving to IP backhaul to deal with explosive growth in data traffic. Leading Russian carrier MTS (Mobile TeleSystems) said this week that it is expecting 86 per cent growth in Russian data traffic by 2015, forcing a strategic focus on network transport.

Yota scores deal as Russia’s LTE network operator

Russian network operator Yota has turned its fortunes around, having initially backed WiMAX, then switching to LTE. This week the company signed a deal with the country’s leading players, to act as the network provider for LTE services in over 180 cities with a total population of more than 70 million citizens.

MTS joins Wholesale Applications Community

Russia’s leading telecoms provider, MTS has joined the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), an international alliance of telecommunications companies committed to building a global open platform for development and distribution of mobile applications.

MegaFon taps Huawei for 40Gb backbone network

Russian operator MegaFon has selected Chinese vendor Huawei to construct backbone nodes for a 40Gb IP/MPLS network in Russia’s largest cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

MegaFon to acquire Russia’s Metrocom

Russian operator MegaFon is to acquire Metrocom, an alternative telecoms provider in the North West region of Russia. MegaFon is expected to spend $67m on the acquisition.

NSN to build GNOC for Russian region

Nokia Siemens Networks will set up a Global Network Operations Centre (GNOC) in Russia’s Central region. The GNOC will help telecoms operators across the region to improve the speed, quality and efficiency of their services and is expected to begin network management operations during 2Q10. The GNOC will be NSN’s fourth, in addition to two existing centres in India and one in Portugal.

MegaFon revenues jump 19% to $1.76bn in 2Q10

Russian operator MegaFon reported a 19 per cent increase in revenues year-on-year in 2Q10 to RUB52.22bn ($1.76bn). MegaFon attributes its strong revenue performance to significant growth of its subscription base and higher use of 3G data services. At the end of 2Q10 MegaFon had 53.5 million subscriptions, giving it a market share of 24.8 per cent.

VimpelCom 2Q10 profit drops 52% to $334.7m

Second placed Russian mobile operator VimpelCom reported a 52 per cent year-on-year drop in 2Q10 net profit to $334.7m. Revenues rose by 23.1 per cent year-on-year to $2.64bn. Stable pricing and higher usage led to ARPU increase of 7.2 per cent in Russia.

WiMAX player Scartel launches LTE in Russia

Russian WiMAX player, Scartel, which operates under the Yota brand has finished its implementation of an LTE network in Kazan. The operator also plans to deploy further LTE networks in Novosibirsk and Samara by the end of 2010.

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