Russian national operator Rostelecom has teamed up with fellow Svyazinvest subsidiary SkyLink to launch as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Central Russia. The MVNO, which has been launched under the CDMA-450 standard, will appear under the ‘Domolink-Mobi’ brand. Rostelecom reportedly claimed 37,500 subscribers for its pre-existing MVNO service in Southern Russia. TeleGeography notes that in 2010/11 SkyLink has been one of Russia’s most active cellco’s in striking MVNO agreements, and by early 2011 the operator reportedly had 20 different MVNO projects at various stages of development; all are expected to be launched by 1H11.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Russia’s Ministry of Communications (MinSvyaz) officially endorsed the introduction of MVNOs on 13 March 2009 in a bid to aid the development of the telecoms market and promote a healthy competitive environment. In July 2010 MinSvyaz published a report on the progress made by MVNOs which found that MVNO subscriptions had reached 1.1 million by June 2010. The largest MVNO by subscribers is believed to be ‘Just To Talk’, with around 600,000 subscribers; the company utilises MegaFon’s infrastructure.