Thursday, November 23, 2017

Rostelecom investing $4 billion to develop mobile networks

National telecom operator Rostelecom may invest between $3 billion and $4 billion to develop mobile networks in the next four years as the Russian company seeks a greater share of the wireless Internet market.

The company has begun building 3G infrastructure in 27 regions, including Yekaterinburg, Moscow and Irkutsk. The company wants to gain 22 percent of the mobile wide-band internet market by 2015. It currently has less than two percent of the market, the Moscow Times reports.

"Mobile data services are growing at a very serious rate, and we plan to focus our main efforts in this segment in particular," Alexander Provotorov, the company's chief executive, said, according to the Moscow Times. "Mobile voice services have stopped growing."

Russia's three biggest mobile operators currently have 95 percent of the wide-band internet market. According to a partner at Advanced Communications & Media, the market may more than double from $2.5 billion last year to $5.4 billion by 2015.

"All the operators are keen to find ways to consolidate the huge expenses and are ready to share their infrastructure," Provotorov said, according to the Moscow Times. "It costs about $3 billion to $4 billion to develop a nationwide mobile network, while the figure would be far higher for a fixed-line network like Rostelecom's. The investment required would be unbelievable."