MTS becomes largest mobile provider in Eastern and Central Europe

Analysts claim that Russia's economic growth is due to exports of raw materials, not high technologies. Probably this is true, however, only partially. Sectors of "the new economy" are also developing in the country, including the telecom sector, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported. It seems that the triumvirate of the largest mobile providers has been already formed in Russia; these are Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), VimpelCom and Megafon. On April 23 citizens of the Rostov region who were mobile subscribers of Dontelecom became MTS subscribers, because MTS had purchased Dontelecom. Previously, MTS had bought a controlling stake in TAIF-TELCOM, the largest mobile operator in the Republic of Tatarstan. These two facts are the parts of one chain. Russia's largest mobile providers are buying numerous small regional operators that were created at the beginning of the 1990s. Acquisition is the only way for local companies to survive. Amid the crisis of the high-tech sector in the West, Russian mobile operators can compete with any European mobile operator in terms of attractiveness. MTS and VimpelCom shares have been growing, while telecom stocks in the world have been retreating. MTS is currently the largest mobile operator in Eastern and Central Europe. It is followed by VimpelCom and the Polish provider PTC (Era GSM).

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