Question mark hangs over SkyLink GSM status

24 Sep 2012

According to an unconfirmed report by Vedomosti, Russian mobile operator Sky Link is tight-lipped over long-term plans to deploy GSM networks in 45 Russian regions, casting doubts over the company’s future. The various concessions stipulate network launches between 22 November and 6 December this year, but SkyLink is known to lease infrastructure from larger rival Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) across the footprint through a long-standing deal.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in July 2012 Russian national operator Rostelecom completed a long-gestating deal to acquire a 100% stake in sister company SkyLink. Local press reports suggested that Rostelecom had wasted little time in taking steps to phase out the SkyLink brand, with the company’s existing activities allocated to Rostelecom’s regional branches with immediate effect. At this stage it is unknown as to whether SkyLink’s reluctance to utilise its GSM concessions is related to overlaps with Rostelecom’s regional activity. If SkyLink does not use the licences, it is likely that they will be re-distributed to rival operators through a government tender.

Russia, SkyLink