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September 19, 2012

New Phone Tower Joint Venture Possible in Russia: News Report
By Ed Silverstein
TMCnet Contributor

MTS (News - Alert) and VimpelCom are meeting about creating a joint venture to operate phone towers in Russia.

The move could lead to shared costs of running phone networks, according to news reports. Tower sharing also could lead to lower capital costs for both telecom companies.

The discussions appear to be ongoing. "There are no finalized agreements, the discussions are being held with regards to the idea itself and a possible form of cooperation," Valeria Kuzmenko, a spokeswoman for MTS, told Reuters.

"We are now in talks with other operators on the creation of a joint venture. It is a long-term and complicated project," VimpelCom spokeswoman Anna Aybasheva added in a statement to Reuters.

In addition, MegaFon may also be taking part in the closed-door meetings. Rostelecom (News - Alert) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund could also participate in the joint venture, according to news reports.

MTS and VimpelCom have set up network outsourcing with Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei (News - Alert). They also invested with MegaFon and Rostelecom in the building of an underwater network in Russia's Far Eastern region, Reuters said.

In other recent news, MTS, in partnership with Nokia Siemens (News - Alert) Networks, has launched 4G mobile broadband services with speeds of up to 100 Mbps in Moscow. It represents the first 4G LTE service in Russia.

“The launch of LTE services by MTS, on a par with leading LTE services around the world, reaffirms Russia’s place among most technologically advanced economies. Our LTE network’s high data throughput and superior reliability enable our customers to benefit from high quality multimedia applications with faster network access,” Konstantin Markov, head of MTS macro-region, Moscow, said in a recent statement carried by Telecom Lead.

“MTS is expanding mobile broadband services in Moscow, contributing to the region’s development. Joint efforts by MTS and Nokia (News - Alert) Siemens Networks, our long-standing partner, are focused on achieving LTE coverage in 96 percent of Moscow by the end of 2012,” Markov added in the news report. “We also plan to double the coverage in Moscow provinces from the current level of coverage in 40 towns.”

In other recent news, Alcatel-Lucent is helping to upgrade the regional networks of VimpelCom Group, to introduce 3G mobile broadband entertainment and business services, and prepare for 4G LTE, according to TMCnet. VimpelCom is upgrading its data transport and mobile backhaul networks in Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan with Internet Protocol/Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) to support mobile broadband and business service, TMCnet adds.

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Don't miss the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Mobility Tech Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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