MOSCOW, January 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC ("MTS" or "the Company" -NYSE: MBT), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, announces the results of its network modernization in Sochi and Krasnodar Krai completed in 2013. During the year, network capacity has doubled while mobile Internet speeds in the cities across the region reached 42MB/s. As a result, the volume of the consumer traffic on the network increased two times.
Andrei Ushatskiy, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of MTS, commented, "MTS is the market leader in Krasnodar Krai, which encompasses the Sochi region and in turn necessitates a high level of commitment to providing best-in-class services to our customers in light of the anticipated influx of guests at regional resorts. Total investments in the region during 2011-2013 exceeded RUB 10 billion, or over USD 300 million. We see the upcoming sporting events as an opportunity to demonstrate the high level of quality of MTS's networks, which have been shown to be the fastest networks in the region."
MTS has completed substantial network enhancements throughout the territory of Greater Sochi, including the areas where sporting events will take place. In 2013, all of the base stations in Sochi were upgraded to DC-HSDPA technology, which enabled MTS to increase peak data transfer speeds up to 42 MB/s. In December 2013, MTS also increased capacity throughout the Sochi and Adler areas by 30 percent. 3G coverage was extended to the Imereti lowland and small population centers of Verkhneye Buu, Nizhnyaya Beranda, Gornoye Lo, Vishnevka, and Kalinovoye ozero.
Furthermore, MTS provides coverage for all outdoor sports facilities in the coastal and mountain clusters. Early last year, MTS's services were launched in the areas of the bobsleigh track and biathlon stadium on the Psekhako mountain. MTS has also reinforced coverage at the lower slopes and the tourist complex Mountain Carousel on the slopes of the complex Rosa Khutor. Voice and Internet communication services are available on ski-jumping complex Russian Hills, located on the slope of the Aibka ridge. The MTS network also covers two large hotel complexes, Chernomorets SPA and Radisson Blue, where the International Olympic Committee headquarters are based.
During the past three years, MTS has been actively working to increase the coverage across the mountain cluster of sports facilities and access roads to them. During this period, the capacity of the "third generation networks" around Krasnaya Polyana was increased more than three times. In addition, MTS was the first operator to ensure full coverage of the Sochi International Airport with "next generation networks". More than 100 antennas were installed in the airport territory, which together with external base stations provide for high-quality voice and data services.
MTS network development in Krasnodar Krai
In 2013, MTS enhanced 3G network coverage in 108 population centers in Krasnodar Krai, including 29 population centers which lacked any mobile Internet connectivity. With an aim to "bridge the digital divide", MTS provided access to voice and data networks in small and far-flung population centers, including Pervaya Sinyukha, Khadjiko, Kalezh.
During 2013, MTS rolled-out backbone networks with a total length of more than 300 km connecting population centers Kuschevskaya and Yeisk, Yurovsk with Tenmryuk and Taman. MTS also completed build-up of the fiber-optic lines surrounding the city of Krasnodar with the capacity of the new lines amounting to 10 GB. Enhancement of the fiber-optic lines allows MTS to increase data transfer speeds throughout the region, including in the remote and inaccessible areas.
* * *
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC ("MTS") is the leading telecommunications group in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, offering mobile and fixed voice, broadband, pay TV as well as content and entertainment services in one of the world's fastest growing regions. Including its subsidiaries, the Group services over 100 million mobile subscribers in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Belarus, a region that boasts a total population of more than 230 million. Since June 2000, MTS' Level 3 ADRs have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol MBT). Additional information about the MTS Group can be found at http://www.mtsgsm.com.
* * *
Some of the information in this press release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of MTS, as defined in the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify forward looking statements by terms such as "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "will," "could," "may" or "might," and the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. We do not undertake or intend to update these statements to reflect events and circumstances occurring after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. We refer you to the documents MTS files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the Company's most recent Form 20-F. These documents contain and identify important factors, including those contained in the section captioned "Risk Factors" that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements, including, among others, the severity and duration of current economic and financial conditions, including volatility in interest and exchange rates, commodity and equity prices and the value of financial assets; the impact of Russian, U.S. and other foreign government programs to restore liquidity and stimulate national and global economies, our ability to maintain our current credit rating and the impact on our funding costs and competitive position if we do not do so, strategic actions, including acquisitions and dispositions and our success in integrating acquired businesses, potential fluctuations in quarterly results, our competitive environment, dependence on new service development and tariff structures, rapid technological and market change, acquisition strategy, risks associated with telecommunications infrastructure, governmental regulation of the telecommunications industries and other risks associated with operating in Russia and the CIS, volatility of stock price, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks.
* * *
For further information, please contact in Moscow:
Joshua B. Tulgan
Director, Corporate Finance & Investor Relations
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC
Learn more about MTS. Visit the official blog of the Investor Relations Department at http://www.mtsgsm.com/blog/
SOURCE Mobile TeleSystems OJSC