Russian mobile grows by 3m in July

The number of mobile subscribers in Russia grew by almost 3 million to 175.75 million during July, according to statistics released yesterday by analyst house Advanced Communications & Media (AC&M).

It also said that that SIM penetration in Russia has reached 121.1%, up from 119.1% at the end of June.

Ukraine has not experienced the same boost: at the end of June its SIM penetration rate was also 119.3%, but fewer than 135,000 new subscribers were added in July, taking the total in Ukraine to 55.31 million.

MTS maintains its position as market leader in Russia, but it was outstripped by rivals MegaFon and Vimpelcom: they accounted for 69.5% of all new subscribers in July. MegaFon attracted slightly more new subscribers than Vimpelcom, while only 16.9% chose MTS.

The big three between them served 82.5% of the market as of 31 July. MTS had 61.86 million subscribers, Vimpelcom 43.41 million, and MegaFon 39.72 million. The next largest players, Tele2 and Uralsvyazinform, reported a comparatively small 9.67 million and 5.45 million customers respectively.

In Ukraine MTS lost over 500,000 subscribers, falling to a total of 18.6 million. It is the second largest in the market behind Kyivstar, which added around 130,000 subscribers and ended the month with a customer base of 23.45 million.

Astelit remains a distant third, with 10.33 million subscribers, while Vimpelcom is a relative minnow in Ukraine with 2.26 million customers.