Rostelecom has been granted permission by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to acquire a 100% stake in Siberian broadband operator Enter. The internet service provider (ISP), which was established in 2005, counts around 22,000 subscribers in the cities of Bernaul, Novokuznetsk and Tyumen. Rostelecom acquired its stake in Enter from Netherlands-based Consumer Enter, although no purchase price has been quoted.
The deal signifies Rostelecom’s latest move to secure a foothold in Russia’s fragmented broadband market – and its first notable acquisition outside of the capital. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Rostelecom entered the lucrative Moscow high speed internet market for the first time in February 2011 when it acquired a 71.8% stake in National Telecommunications (NTC) for an undisclosed sum. NTC is said to be Russia’s largest cable TV operator, and its network passes at least 5.1 million households in Moscow, Moscow Region, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. Rostelecom was subsequently rumoured to be preparing bids for well-known Moscow-based ISPs Qwerty and Gorcom.