Russian mobile giant Vimpelcom has announced that it has cut international roaming charges in a total of 62 countries, with a range of new tariffs now offered under the ‘MultiPass’ brand. The cellco claims that the price of using mobile internet services in Europe and South East Asia has decreased by 25 times, with tariffs now up to ten times cheaper in CIS nations. Incoming calls are now priced at RUB5 (USD0.17) per minute, with outgoing calls costing RUB15/minute. Outgoing SMS cost RUB3.95, whilst 1MB of data now costs RUB30.21. All new tariffs applied retroactively from 1 March 2012.
The full list of countries where ‘MultiPass’ rates now apply is as follows: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Austria, Albania, Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vatican City, UK, Hungary, Germany, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Greenland, Greece, Denmark, Jersey, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Isle of Man, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
In other news, Vedomosti has reported that Vimpelcom has hired Finnish equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to manage its Russian network. The newspaper claims that rival operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) saved around 20% on its operating costs by hiring an external management company to oversee its network in 2010; no price has been quoted for the agreement with NSN.