Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Russia’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has acquired Tascom, a Moscow-based Wi-Fi operator for USD38.3 million. Bloomberg reports that the transaction will be carried out through Moscow City Telephone Network (MGTS), a wholly-owned MTS subsidiary. As part of the deal MGTS has accepted USD9.7 million worth of Tascom’s debt, with an additional payment of USD6.9 million delayed for a period of twelve months.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at end-December 2011, following a spate of acquisitions, MTS reported an enlarged broadband subscriber base of 2.152 million, up from 1.805 million one year earlier. This figure gave MTS an 11.0% share of the high speed internet sector, narrowly ahead of long-term rival Vimpelcom (10.6%), but some way behind national operator Rostelecom (44.9%). At end-2011 MTS saw its network pass a total of 11.433 million households, up from 9.890 million one year earlier, suggesting that it acquisitive strategy was starting to pay off – at least in terms of population coverage.