Rostelecom launches its first commercial 3G network
Moscow, Russia – November 22, 2012 – Rostelecom OJSC (the “Group”) (MICEX - RTS: RTKM, RTKMP; OTCQX: ROSYY), Russia’s national telecommunications operator, announces that the Group has fully launched its first commercial 3G+ network in the Irkutsk region, through the Group’s subsidiary, Baikalwestcom CJS (BWC). Rostelecom is planning to launch 3G networks in 26 Russian regions in 2013.
Pavel Zaitsev, Senior Vice President of Rostelecom, commented: "Our subsidiary, Baikalwestcom, has historically been a regional mobile market leader, and the launch of this next-generation network will further strengthen its position. All of our mobile subscribers in the Irkutsk region will now benefit from a significantly enhanced user experience using our 3G+ infrastructure and our high-speed Internet access when surfing the web, browsing social networks, and viewing video content. Customers can now access these services anywhere using their smartphones, tablets or USB modems on their laptops. Since the network’s test launch mobile data traffic has almost doubled and we are confident that demand for mobile Internet will continue growing rapidly thanks to our competitive tariff plans for this service.”
The HSPA+ technology that we used to build our first network in the Irkutsk region, supports transmission speeds of up to 21 MB/s. The network is therefore 3G+, as the first 3G networks in Russia only supported transmission speeds of up to 3.6 MB/s. The Group has completed the installation of over 300 base stations. Rostelecom’s 3G+ network is now available across several of the Irkutsk region’s cities and towns, providing access to 70% of the region’s population. The network will be further expanded in the first quarter of 2013.
Prior to the network’s launch, Rostelecom prepared special rates and Internet traffic packages to attract new subscribers to join the network and to reward existing customers.
Konstantin Motlyakh, CEO of BWC, added: “Over 500,000 of BWC’s subscribers use mobile Internet via our 2G GSM network. With the launch of our 3G+ network, subscribers will be able to explore new possibilities using faster mobile data transmission. The quality of the network, its capacity and transmission speed will most definitely increase our subscriber numbers and mobile data traffic.”Rostelecom and its subsidiaries, NCC CJSC, BWC CJSC, ETK CJSC, Sky Link CJSC, Volgograd-GSM CJSC, AKOS CJSC and Wireless Information Technologies LLC, provide mobile services in 59 Russian regions to over 13.5 million subscribers.