Russian mobile giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has announced the signing of an agreement with Scartel (Yota) to launch as a Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) over the latter’s network in Kazan. The launch, which is scheduled for today (30 August) will allow MTS to initiate commercial 4G services as it continues to build out its own independent LTE network elsewhere. The infrastructure, it says, consists of 118 base stations, covering 80% of Kazan’s territory and enables downlink transmission speeds of up to 100Mbps. Aleksander Popovskiy, MTS’ vice president and chief operating officer, commented: ‘Demand for data services is constantly rising in our markets. MTS is focused on making state-of-the-art mobile internet technologies available to its subscribers both by upgrading its own infrastructure and partnering with other operators. MVNO partnerships allow MTS to quickly launch LTE networks and optimize CAPEX on network rollout. Kazan is the first city in Russia where MTS will begin offering 4G services under the MVNO model. Going forward, the experience gained in this region can be used nationwide’. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MTS will launch its own independent LTE network in Moscow and the surrounding region on 1 September this year. Sales of LTE modems began in the capital in early August.