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.
Nordic carrier Tele2 has agreed to sell its regional Russian mobile operation to banking group VTB for $2.4bn in cash and $1.15bn in debt.
Russian operator VimpelCom has signed a five-year managed services contract with Ericsson. The Swedish vendor’s first major managed services contract in Russia sees it managing Vimpelcom’s network operations at more than 10,000 sites.
At the end of last year, Russian operator Megafon announced the launch of high-end Samsung Galaxy S III LTE- smartphone priced at RUB 29,990 ($989). This was a predictable and well planned move suggesting that the operator wants to maintain its first mover position in the LTE segment, helping to increase its brand equity and improve market share.
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.
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.
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.
Russian operator VimpelCom will transfer 1,300 staff to Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei, as part of a five-year managed services deal.
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.
Andrei Ushatskiy, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for leading Russian carrier MTS, is tasked with balancing a network strategy for one of the world’s biggest geographic regions as well as several satellite markets.
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.
Dennis Sverdlov is the CEO of Yota and is speaking on Day Two of the LTE World Summit 2012 taking place on the 23-24 May at the CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the challenges the Russian network operator has faced during its transition from WiMAX to LTE, on getting FDD and TD-LTE networks to interoperate and his view on unlimited data tariffs.
The legal drama involving Nordic operator Telenor continued in Russia this week with authorities disputing the VimpelCom shares it purchased earlier this year.
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.
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.