Moscow, Russian Federation – Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (“MTS” or "the Company" – NYSE: MBT; MOEX: MTSS), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, and VimpelCom PJSC (the Beeline brand) announce the expansion of their far-reaching partnership to jointly construct and utilize LTE networks in Russia. The Companies have agreed to share LTE spectrum in the 2600 MHz range in 20 Russian regions beginning in 2016. Spectrum sharing will allow operators to double data transfer speeds available to the subscribers at peak speeds of 150 Mb/s.
MTS and VimpelCom have signed an addendum to their agreement on joint planning, development and usage of LTE networks, which they signed in 2014. Both companies plan to start utilizing the 10 MHz bandwidth each of the operator owns in 20 Russian regions upon obtaining all required permissions in the second half of 2016. These regions include: Vologda region, Kaliningrad region, Kaluga region, Murmansk region, Nizhny Novgorod region, Omsk region, Orenburg region, Orel region, Pskov region, Sakhalin region, Tula region, Yaroslavl region, Altai Republic, Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Chechen Republic, Ingush Republic, the Republic of Mordovia, Chuvash Republic, and Khabarovsk Krai. In these regions, shared spectrum of 20 MHz will be utilized by each base station that is jointly operated by MTS and VimpelCom. The addendum expires at the end of 2021 and can be extended and expanded to cover more regions.
Andrei Dubovskov, MTS President and CEO, commented, “The first results of the joint project with VimpelCom to develop LTE networks have exceeded our expectations. In the regions, where we installed and jointly operated base stations, we have increased the number of LTE subscribers by 30% faster than average pace of growth throughout Russia. We have also managed to reduce the costs of construction and joint network usage by 10-15% compared to our initial estimates. With spectrum sharing, we will able to bring mobile broadband to remoted areas even faster and realize more efficiencies. We are grateful to the Ministry of Communication and Mass Media for the timely decision, which will help operators to increase data transfer speeds and speed up construction of the state-of-the-art telecommunications network while reducing costs.”
VimpelCom Russia CEO Mikhail Slobodin said, “The first year of partnership with MTS for joint operation of networks proved highly effective and promising. We are satisfied with the quality of cooperation between our companies and convinced that the share of frequency range and the entire infrastructure will provide the best quality of 4G/LTE services in larger areas and deliver the best user experience. We also praise Russia’s Ministry of Communications and Mass Media for the preparation of the regulatory framework and the adoption of laws that enable us to double the peak speed of mobile internet by combining the frequency spectrum in future.”
On December 19, 2014, MTS and VimpelCom announced the signing of a partnership agreement to jointly plan, develop and use LTE networks in Russia. Under the agreement, in 2014 – 2016, MTS is developing shared mobile data networks in 19 regions in Russia, while VimpelCom is constructing networks in 17 regions. Under the agreement, operators are sharing base stations, sites, transport networks and other infrastructure in 36 regions. The agreement was signed for a period of seven years and can be extended. The agreement doesn’t preclude either company from developing their own networks to ensure LTE coverage in the designated regions. During 2015, jointly operated LTE networks have been launched in 31 regions.
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For further information, please contact in Moscow:
Joshua B. Tulgan
Director, Department of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations
Mobile TeleSystems PJSC
Tel: +7 495 223 2025