Russia's MTS first with commercial 3G service

The Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has become the first to switch on a commercial 3G network following the launch of the service this week in St Petersburg. The company plans to launch additional 3G networks in over 10 cities during 2008 and in up to 40 cities in Russia through 2009.

The company claims it will invest US$1.6 billion in deploying the network over the next three years to provide services, such as video calls, mobile TV and mobile broadband, to subscribers in Russia and the CIS.

The company said it had only invested five per cent of the overall investment, but expected to generate additional revenue of US$2.5 billion from 3G services, including US$2 billion in Russia by 2011. Mikhail Shamolin, CEO of MTS Russia stated: "We believe that conditions for the 3G launch in Russia are more favorable than in the developed markets. Today's HSPA-enabled infrastructure allows download speeds up to 10 times faster than the first phase of 3G networks, while the costs for equipment and devices are significantly cheaper."

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