23 Nov 2009 14:40

Russian cellular operators boost subscriber base by 1.3 mln in Oct

MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax) - The total number of GSM-registered cellular phone subscribers in Russia totaled 204.99 million at the end of October 2009, up by 1.3 million from September 2009 and 23 million from October 2008, AC&M Consulting said in a report.

The cellular penetration level rose to 141.2% in October from 140.2% in September and 125.2% in October 2008.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) had 68.9 million Russia-based subscribers at the end of October, up 206,200 over September, giving the company a market share of 33.6%, including 42.6% in Moscow and 31.2% in St. Petersburg.

VimpelCom (BeeLine) had 50.96 million subscribers in Russia in October, down 59,200 from September, for a 24.9% share of the country's cellular market. The shrinkage was mainly the result of subscriber losses in the regions.

MegaFon had 48.83 million subscribers in Russia at the end of October. This gave MegaFon a market share of 23.8% nationwide, including 22.4% in Moscow and 33.5% in St. Petersburg.

MegaFon accounted for 58.6% of new subscriptions in Russia in October and MTS - 15.6%.

The top ten cellular operators in Russia also include Tele2 with 13.68 million subscribers in October; Uralsvyazinform and its subsidiaries with 5.75 million; Sibirtelecom and its subsidiaries with 5.15 million; the SMARTS Group with 3.5 million; Nizhny Novgorod Cellular Communications with 2.77 million; Yekaterinburg Cellular Communications (Motiv) with 1.64 million; and Vladivostok-based New Telephone Company with 1.32 million.

MTS's overall subscriber numbers, including subsidiaries in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Belarus (the latter is not consolidated by MTS), rose to 101.675 million in October from 101.376 million in September.

VimpelCom, including subsidiaries in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Armenia and Georgia, had 64.975 million subscribers at the end of October, down from 65.262 million subscribers at the end of September.

MegaFon's subscriber base, including TT-Mobile in Tajikistan, grew to 49.111 million in October from 48.324 million in September, according to AC&M Consulting.