Russia's move to LTE represents a multibillion-dollar opportunity for vendors

Millions of smartphone and tablet customers are clamouring for faster mobile data services in Russia, making the country the next major battleground for network equipment vendors, reports Businessweek. Russian operators MTS, MegaFon, VimpelCom, and Rostelecom are now starting to deploy their LTE networks, and have committed to spend €9.6 billion ($12.9 billion) on LTE networks by 2019. As much as half of that could go to equipment makers, according to LTE Union, a non-profit association of Russian wireless providers. Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent are among the vendors vying for new business in the market, and Alcatel-Lucent has set up a research and development lab in Moscow to develop faster fibre-optic networks with state-owned electronics company Rostec. Indeed, earlier this month Nokia Siemens announced an order from MTS for LTE equipment in Moscow and central Russia valued at around $200 million. Article