Megafon Mobile Phone Users Tops 3 Million

The number of subscribers to Megafon federal mobile phone network is now over 3 million. As the company press department announced on Monday, January 13, the significant rise in the number of subscribers at the end of 2002 was a result of the fast development of new networks in the Russian regions.

At the moment Megafon mobile phone users are spread as follows: in Moscow and the Moscow Region - 323 thousand, in the Central Federal District - 2.3 thousand, in the North West Federal District - 1,565 thousand, in the North Caucasus - 502 thousand, in the Povolzhsk area - 502 thousand and in the Urals - 123 thousand.

In 2003 Megafon is planning to continue developing its networks in these regions and are expecting to come on the market in Siberia and Far East by the end of the year. Megafon is also planning to start work in Belgorod, Vladimir, Tver, Tula and Yaroslavl in the near future.

Megafon is a GSM 900/1800 Russian mobile phone operator. It was founded in May 2002 by the renaming and reorganisation of GSM North West and the amalgamation with Sonic Duo (Moscow), Mobikom-Caucaus, Mobikom-Kirov, MSS-Povolzhje, Volzhskiy GSM and Uralskiy GSM. The main shareholders are Telecominvest, CT-Mobile, Sonera (Finland) and Telia (Sweden). Megafon's licensed territory covers the whole of Russia - all 89 subjects of the Russian Federation with its population of 145 million. At present Megafon is operating in five federal districts. There are also Megafon base stations in two other federal districts which are working in test mode. In technical terms Megafon consists of 22 switchboards and 2,168 base stations.

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