Russia’s leading wireless operator by subscribers, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), reported subscriber gains of 2.3 million in July, including 1.65 million in Russia, to lift its consolidated subscriber base to 46.37 million. The operator added 300,000 new users in the Moscow Region to end the quarter with 9.12 million customers, and reported 100,000 net gains in the lucrative St Petersburg market to boost its base there to 2.18 million. However, the majority of its new users were drawn from more rural parts of the country with MTS signing up more than 1.26 million new users across Russia in July to lift its total of the rest of the country to 24.44 million.
MTS’ overseas operations also reported healthy gains. In Ukraine, the cellco’s wholly owned subsidiary Ukrainian Mobile Communications (UMC) added 620,000 subscribers to end July with 10.14 million. Uzdunrobita of Uzbekistan reported 430,000 customers, up from 400,000, while its newly acquired Turkmen unit Barash Communications was unchanged at 60,000. MTS also owns a 49% stake in MTS Belarus, which is not consolidated. The Minsk-based operator had 1.69 million subscribers at the end of July, up 80,000 on the previous month.