Russia’s ComNews reports that nationwide fixed network operator Rostelecom has finalised an agreement with its part-owned mobile subsidiary Tele2 Russia to operate MVNO services over the latter’s 2G/3G/4G network, targeting the consumer quadruple-play bundling market and the converged corporate services sector. The partners’ plan is for Rostelecom to launch its MVNO with federal scope in the third quarter of 2016, under a framework deal which reportedly carries a maximum value of RUB330.4 million (USD4.98 million) including VAT over a year, depending on the volume of consumption of services. Rostelecom has indicated that it does not intend to focus on standalone MVNO services.
In a process completed in August 2014, Rostelecom spun off its mobile assets and merged them with Tele2 Russia, in which it owns a 45% stake. At the end of that year Rostelecom signed an agreement with Tele2 to allow it to operate pilot B2B MVNO services in the Urals Federal District and Perm only, but the latest Federation-wide agreement heralds a mass-market proposition of bundled consumer MVNO services; TeleGeography notes that Rostelecom previously estimated that it could sign up 2.5 million MVNO users by 2020. The Tele2 network currently covers 65 of 85 Russian regions.
A representative of Rostelecom was quoted as saying that the initial contract covers all territory within Tele2’s network footprint, although a specific list of regions will be determined by additional agreements. The telco also noted that it was pleased with the results of the previous pilot B2B MVNO project with Tele2, which helped the partners work out the technical, economic, organisational and legal cooperation aspects within the MVNO business model.