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MTS to keep investments in network development at $140m in 2008

Next year Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) plans to preserve the volume of investments poured into the network development at this year’s level — roughly $140 million, MTS Acting Deputy Director General for Marketing Vadim Tatianenko told a press conference on November 22.

The company is aimed at providing the entire range of services, introducing innovations and expanding the network penetration area in Belarus, said Vadim Tatianenko. According to the official, the next year will not be easy due to the heavy competition. Mobile companies will compete for new customers and in improving the intensiveness of consumption of services.

Vadim Tatianenko added, the Belarusian mobile communication market has a considerable penetration potential. At present the network penetration stands at around 70%, however, it cannot reach 100% in terms of the number of customers as pensioners and children account for some 20% of the population. Meanwhile, SIM card penetration level can reach 100% in Belarus, noted Vadim Tatianenko. At present the share of people with SIM cards of at least two mobile companies stands at 12-15%.

Next year the company will pay special attention to introducing 3G technologies. “We expect a government resolution concerning this issue,” added Vadim Tatianenko.

The official said, Mobile TeleSystems will be technically ready to switch to the new area code 033 by spring 2008. The switchover will not require remodelling the network, but certain adjustments will be made.


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