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November 8, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The cellular communications network that was launched in Moscow this summer brought Europe’s most widely-used and modern mobile telephone technology to Russia for the first time. Demonstrated at the Expocom ’94 in the summer, the Mobile Tele Systems network will be the fourth mobile system in the city, but the first network in Russia operating under Groupe Speciale Mobile-900 standard. Next year Mobile Tele will begin providing its customers with roaming in mobile networks in virtually every country in Europe. GSM is the standard of the future – our calculations are that within 10 years there will be 100,000 users of the network in Moscow and the Moscow region, says Martin Bogelsack, head of the department of international business development at DeTeMobil GmbH. He says the company has invested several million Deutsche marks in the project which the company will recoup in about three years. Mobile Tele Systems is a joint venture between Moscow Local Telephone Network, ASVT in Russia, DeTeMobil, Siemens AG from Germany and US company, TDSR. Equipment suppliers agree that the potential for cellular ‘phones in Moscow is huge and enough to support three different technologies. This is largely due to the lack of terrestrial telephone lines and Muscovites willingness to pay, which means that prices are likely to stay high for the immediate future. Nevertheless Moscow Cellular and the new company are both gearing up for a major marketing campaign to attract new customers during the critical first months of the new network’s lifetime. Mobile Tele offered each new subscriber a 50% discount on its basic tariff for the month of July and August. Moscow Cellular offered any new subscriber in June free local calls until the end of the month. Mobile Tele’s network will cover the area within the Garden ring road. Later it will be extended outwards to cover all of the city and Moscow regions. MTS was granted a licence allowing it to serve 100,000 users. However, at the moment there is only enough inter-connection capacity on the Moscow Local Telephone Network to connect 2,000.The other network standards used in Moscow are NMT-450, Moscow Cellular and AMPS-800, Vimplecom.

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