The number of mobile service subscribers increased 121 percent in Russia in 2002 against 2001 and reached 17.8 million, the J'son & Partners consulting company reported. The rate of penetration of mobile services in Russia rose from 5.6 percent to 12.4 percent. The main mobile operators working in Russia in 2002 were Mobile TeleSystems (with a subscriber base of 6.41 million), VimpelCom (5.08 million subscribers), MegaFon (2,955,600 subscribers), SMARTS (540,000 subscribers) and some others.
The total number of new subscribers surpassed 1.15 million in December 2002. According to forecasts of J'son & Partners experts, a rise in the subscriber base will be more than 100 percent in Russian regions and republics in 2003.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year