Russia’s largest cellular operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), says it plans to invest RUB10 billion (USD424 million) on its 3G networks in St Petersburg and northwestern Russia by 2010. With 3G spectrum in the Moscow area scarce, St Petersburg represents a good opportunity for growth in the market for next generation services, the cellco says. MTS president Leonid Melamed told Interfax: ‘Obviously, St Petersburg will get a 3G network sooner than Moscow, and this network will be of a higher quality. By the time we launch our first 3G station in Moscow, in St Petersburg we will cover practically 100% of the territory.’ A report from CNews says that MTS’ revenues from mobile internet services grew more than threefold per subscriber in 2007. The cellco now accounts for 31% of the Russian market for value added mobile services and it is keen to increase its earnings from non-voice services with the launch of its first 3G networks later this year.