19 Aug 2009 15:40

Russian cellular operators boost subscriber base 1% in July

MOSCOW. Aug 19 (Interfax) - The total number of GSM-registered cellular phone subscribers in Russia grew 1% to 199.87 million in July 2009 compared to June, AC&M Consulting said in a report.

The cellular penetration level rose to 137.7% in July from 136.3% in June.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) had 67.934 million Russia-based subscribers at the end of July, up from 66.423 million at the end of June, giving the company a market share of 34%, including 45.3% in Moscow and 31.8% in St. Petersburg.

VimpelCom (BeeLine) had 50.57 million subscribers in Russia in July, up from 49.971 million in June, for a 25.3% share of the country's cellular market. As of the end of July, 32.3% of Moscow-based subscribers used the VimpelCom network, while 18.5% of St. Petersburg-based subscribers used VimpelCom.

MegaFon had 46.355 million subscribers in Russia at the end of July, up from 45.361 million a month earlier. This gave MegaFon a market share of 23.2% nationwide, including 21.1% in Moscow and 32.4% in St. Petersburg.

MegaFon accounted for 47.3% of net subscriptions in Russia in July, VimpelCom - 28.5% and MTS - 24.3%.

The top ten cellular operators in Russia also include Tele2 with 12.4 million subscribers in July; Uralsvyazinform and its subsidiaries with 5.779 million; Sibirtelecom and its subsidiaries with 5.284 million; the SMARTS Group with 3.505 million; Nizhny Novgorod Cellular Communications with 2.705 million; Yekaterinburg Cellular Communications with 1.529 million; and Vladivostok-based New Telephone Company with 1.294 million.

CDMA-operator Sky Link served 1.3% of subscribers in Moscow at the end of July and 2% of St. Petersburg subscribers.

MTS's overall subscriber numbers, including subsidiaries in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Belarus (the latter is not consolidated by MTS), rose to 100.155 million in July from 99.514 million in June.

VimpelCom, including subsidiaries in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Armenia, had 64.38 million subscribers at the end of July, up from 63.597 million subscribers at the end of June.

MegaFon's subscriber base, including TT-Mobile in Tajikistan, grew to 46.597 million in July from 45.594 million in June, according to AC&M Consulting.