The Russian cellular market grew by just 2.73 per cent in the first quarter of 2008, its second ever lowest increase. However, there was cause for optimism as the rolling annual growth rate increased from 13.9 per cent for the year to 31st December 2007 to 15.6 per cent for the year to 31st March 2008. Net additions for the year were 22.69 million, the highest total since 2006. At the end of the first quarter the total size of the Russian cellular market was 167.7 million, giving the country a penetration rate of 118 per cent, up from 115 per cent at the end of 2007. The bulk of Russian cellular customers are accounted for by three operators, MTS, Vimpelcom and MegaFon, who between them have 82.9 per cent of the market. The major winner over the year was third-placed MegaFon which recorded customer growth of 19.7 per cent over the year.
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