31 Oct 2023 12:09

MTS expects elimination of payment for Internet sharing to increase rates for all users

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) - Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) , Russia's leading mobile service provider is opposed to eliminating payments for unlimited sharing of mobile Internet connections, or tethering, and warned that this could lead to an increase in service prices for all users.

Mobile service rates are calculated for individual use of mobile Internet traffic, the company told Interfax. MTS offers a different line of rates for laptops and desktop PCs, which need far more traffic.

"The absence of restrictions for isolated users who use the mobile network for torrents and streaming will lead to a significant deterioration in the quality of connections for the majority of subscribers," MTS said.

The absence of additional payment for Internet sharing and, consequently, the leveling of the cost of traffic for all categories of devices "will lead to providers being forced to raise the cost of traffic for all rates."

"Therefore, regular subscribers with smartphones will essentially pay for subscribers who actively share traffic," MTS said. The company did not specify the amount by which rates could increase.

The company currently charges 50 rubles for sharing 3 GB of Internet traffic per day (1 GB for same price in Norilsk and Chukotka).

Rival mobile providers MegaFon, Vimpelcom and Tele2 said on Monday that they have begun to comply with a Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) notice on the elimination of payment for sharing Internet connections from mobile phones.

The regulator said in September that Vimpelcom, MegaFon, MTS and Tele2 were forcing unfavorable service contract terms on customers by charging for mobile device tethering. The FAS sent queries to the providers based on a large number of customer complaints. However, the regulator found that the companies' responses did not provide sufficient economic, technological or other grounds for charging for this service.

As a result, the regulator issued a notice to the companies that they need to put an end to violations within a month.