Tele2 Russia has been awarded a licence which allows it to begin offering services as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). With its own networks covering 43 of Russia’s regions, the firm now has the capability to become the country’s fourth truly national wireless service provider alongside the so-called ‘big three’ operators, MTS, MegaFon and Vimpelcom, all of which have nationwide licences. One major bonus for Tele2 is that it will now be able to launch services in Moscow, having so far failed to acquire its own concession covering the capital.
In addition, the new MVNO permit will enable Tele2 to offer 3G services for the first time; in the past the operator has had no success in its attempts to land 3G-capable spectrum licences. In June this year it was reported that Tele2 was in negotiations with Rostelecom over a mutual MVNO agreement which would see Rostelecom offer Tele2 access to its 3G networks while Tele2 allowed Rostelecom to utilise its own 2G infrastructure.
Alexander Provorotov, president and CEO of Tele2 Russia, commented: ‘Getting the right to work as a virtual mobile operator opens new opportunities for the development of the company. Tele2 aims to become a key player in the federal Russian mobile market and to obtain licences to work on the MVNO model is an important step towards achieving this goal.’
According to data from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Tele2 Russia had 23.24 million mobile subscribers at the end of June 2013, giving it an 8.7% share of the country’s wireless market.