Svyazinvest may keep mobile assets

7 May 2008

Russia’s state-backed telecoms holding firm Svyazinvest is reconsidering its plan to sell off its mobile networks. The group owns stakes in the country’s seven mega-regional fixed line operators; three of these firms – Sibirtelecom, Uralsvyazinform and VolgaTelecom – also have cellular operations. Svyazinvest had been considering a plan to sell off these mobile networks to allow its subsidiaries to concentrate on their core fixed line business, but a report from Dow Jones which cites local newspaper Kommersant says that this strategy is being re-examined as fixed-mobile convergence is coming increasingly to the fore in Russia. The country’s number two cellular operator, Vimpelcom, recently completed the acquisition of fixed line operator Golden Telecom as part of a plan to offer combined packages of wireline and wireless services.