Russian wireless giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Swedish telecoms vendor Ericsson have announced a strategic cooperation to jointly develop the former’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Ericsson will deploy the 4G network in four regions covering more than half of Russia, thus becoming MTS’s principal equipment supplier in the process. Under the three-year agreement, which is due to start immediately, the Swedish firm will roll out LTE networks in the Siberian, Ural, Volga, and Southern Federal Districts of Russia. In the first stage of the project, Ericsson will supply no fewer than 10,000 of its RBS 6000 base stations. The company will also supply core network hardware and services in the aforementioned regions, as well as in the North-western Federal District. As part of the agreement, the two parties will also extend their cooperation to further develop existing 2G/3G networks in several other Russian regions.
Andrei Dubovskov, president and CEO of MTS, commented: ‘The regions we have targeted for 4G service coverage are very important industrial hubs with key sectors driving the Russian economy: mining, engineering, processing and farming … We intend to start building 4G networks in Russia in the near future to provide subscribers in approximately 15 regions in Russia with high-speed data services by the end of 2013’.