Russia’s largest mobile handset retailer Euroset plans to launch mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services between April and June this year. It is currently performing network tests which began in late 2005 and which are scheduled to finish at the end of March, and has invested around USD23 million in the project. A Euroset official told news service Prime-Tass that Russia’s telecoms legislation allows the creation of MVNOs and that the Russian IT and Telecommunications Ministry had approved the company’s plan.
Euroset is set to launch in the Samara Region over infrastructure owned by Russian regional operator SMARTS, and plans to expand services to twelve more regions where SMARTS has 100% subsidiaries. SMARTS currently operates in 16 of Russia’s 88 administrative regions. Euroset’s fully-owned subsidiary Electrosvyaz is directly managing the MVNO project. The company’s revenues from handset sales reached USD2.574 billion in 2005, up from USD968 million in 2004.