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.
The Bulgarian authorities made a stupid and absurd decision when they did not let a government flight with official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova on board fly to North Macedonia