Russian fixed line telco Comstar has begun the consolidation of its Moscow-based broadband ISP Comstar-Direct. Comstar currently owns 51.8% of Comstar-Direct, with the remaining 48.2% owned by Sistema Mass Media. The majority of Comstar-Direct’s assets related to the provision of multimedia solutions, including broadband and TV services, as well as Comstar-Direct’s subscriber base of 750,000 subscribers will be transferred to Comstar. Comstar will continue to provide broadband internet access via the MGTS network, as well as IPTV services and will also continue to broadcast and sell its package of ‘Stream’ branded pay-TV channels to its 134,000 triple-play subscribers in Moscow, but the content production part of the Comstar-Direct business will be transferred to Sistema.
Comstar provides voice, data, television and other value added services to residential and corporate subscribers and operators, using its backbone network and last mile access to 97% of Moscow households. The company also offers communications services in five Russian regions, as well as in Armenia and Ukraine. Comstar claimed 3.6 million residential subscribers and 750,000 residential broadband internet subscribers in Moscow, as well as 40,000 residential regional and international broadband internet subscribers at the end of March 2008.