Russia’s ‘Big Three’ mobile operators agree to slash roaming tariffs ahead of anti-monopoly inquiry

21 Oct 2010

Russia’s three biggest mobile operators by subscribers, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Vimpelcom and MegaFon, have confirmed that they have lowered mobile roaming tariffs in Russia and the CIS by up to 70%, ahead of the results of a Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) inquiry into high tariffs. Dow Jones Newswires reports that the mobile operators will ‘significantly lower tariffs’ in Russia and the CIS no later than 1 December 2010. The FAS has been investigating the high roaming tariffs imposed by the so-called ‘Big Three’ since March, and is due to report the results of the inquiry on 22 October. MTS and MegaFon have reportedly said that they will slash their tariffs by an average of 42.5% on calls, and 40.5% on text messages, whilst Vimpelcom claimed that it had already cut both call and text tariffs by 50%. Elena Zaeva, Deputy Head of the FAS telecom services department, commented: ‘We are satisfied with the tariff cuts that the mobile operators have made. However, we may ask for further cuts, after we measure how efficient these reductions have been’.