Orange Business Services has announced that it has cleared the last hurdle to allow it to offer domestic and international long-distance telephony in Russia. Over the past two years, Orange has invested more than USD200 million in installing long-distance voice infrastructure in Russia, including a next generation MPLS-based IP backbone. The final step in its licensing was to receive dialling codes ‘59’ and ‘54’, permission for which was signed by Russian Communication Minister Leonid Reiman on 7 November. Armed with its new licence, Orange Business Services intends to launch DLD and ILD services for large and medium-sized businesses in early 2008. According to its press release the France Telecom subsidiary has been providing services to corporate customers in Russia since 1958. Today, Orange Business Services serves more than 4,000 business customers in the country, with operations in all 85 regions plus a presence in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and all other CIS countries. It claims it is the ‘only worldwide communications services provider to also be a long-distance operator’ in Russia.