October 31, 2016
Telecoms giant Vodafone plans to enter the Russian market through a new partnership with the country’s largest mobile operator.
UK-based Vodafone and Moscow-based Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) will work together developing new technologies.
In addition, MTS will be granted exclusive access to Vodafone branded products, services and devices in the regions where it operates.
These include Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Armenia.
Handsets carrying the Vodafone brand will be launched by MTS to its business customers, whilst Vodafone will advise the Russian company on how best to roll-out 3G networks in its target markets.
Despite the move, Vodafone’s chief executive, Vittorio Colao, has made it clear that the company is not planning to buy a Russian operator or offer services in the country.
Vodafone and MTS also stressed that there is no equity component in their agreement to co-operate.
Vodafone’s partnership deals with mobile operators in other countries enable it to offer its customers low price international roaming.
Colao said the partnership with MTS will give its customers greater roaming capabilities and extended coverage.
Vodafone has deals similar to the MTS agreement with over 40 mobile operators in countries around the world.