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Rostelecom and Central Telegraph to launch MVNOs in the Moscow region

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MOSCOW, Mar 22 (PRIME) -- Moscow-based multiservice wireline operator Central Telegraph (Tsentralnyi Telegraf) plans to start providing mobile services under the MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) model sometime in June-August, the operator’s Commercial Director Kirill Karasyov said at a news conference late Wednesday.

The cellular services are expected to be provided under the Qwerty brand, which is now used by Central Telegraph for the operator’s broadband business in Moscow.

Central Telegraph plans to provide mobile services primarily to the users of its broadband package as an additional option, Karasyov said.

According to Karasyov, Central Telegraph already received a license to provide mobile communications services in 2011, and under the document, the company is obliged to start providing the relevant services no later than September.

Central Telegraph plans to provide MVNO services based CDMA-450 operator Sly Link’s network.

“Now we are both (with Sky Link) completing the construction of the network node, and we will start providing services after we finish,” Karasyov said.

Mobile virtual network operators provide services under their own brands using the networks of other operators.

Russia’s national telecom operator Rostelecom, which also has plans to launch an MVNO in Moscow, is currently in talks with each of the three main mobile operators – Megafon, MTS, and Vimpelcom. The development of MVNO projects is as an important part of Rostelecom’s strategy. Rostelecom has the ambition to integrate a variety of networks and services across Russia and assert itself as a universal operator.

According to Iks-Consulting, MVNOs served an approximately 1.1 million users across the country in 2011 – up from 600,000 during the previous year – including 995,000 Muscovites. Among the main MVNOs are Prosto, launched by Megafon, and A-Mobile, a joint project of Auchan and MTS.

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