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Russia: Virgin territory for broadband providers?

23 мая 2008

With the Russian mobile market seemingly approaching saturation, many telecoms industry watchers will see the country's very much lower broadband penetration rate as offering opportunities to pursue the most encouraging growth story in the years ahead.

In terms of access technology, much of this potential may be realised by leveraging the capabilities of WiMAX. Indeed, the Russian market has been touted as one of the world's most promising hotbeds for WiMAX and a very recent announcement would seem to support this.

Last week saw entry of the Virgin Group to the
Russian Federation, through the launch of Virgin Connect, a new broadband service provider. The company is offering services in 32 regions and cities including Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Volograd and Rostov-na-Donu, and holds the required licences and frequencies to do so using WiMAX. The holding company behind the Virgin Connect launch is Trivon AG, a Switzerland-based outfit which has been providing Internet access in selected Russian cities since 2004. Trivon Chairman and CEO, Markus Mueller pledged last week to bring to Russia the Virgin brand values of "quality, value for money, innovation, fun, customer service and... being the customer champion". Virgin supremo Sir Richard Branson added "we believe the potential for growth in the Russian broadband market is extremely exciting" and indicated that Virgin Connect will "demystify the complex tariff jungle and bureaucracy seen in the market over the last years." Branson believes that this drive for simplicity and the aim to provide a "fresh and human customer experience to Russians" will deliver Virgin Connect a market share of 10% within 5 years. Virgin Group's co-investors in Trivon are Dubai-based Delta Partners and Singapore-based Eurasia Capital Management.

The likely impact of Virgin's arrival in
Russia is sure to be discussed by delegates at the imminent 6th annual Russia & CIS Com conference in Moscow, 3-4 June. A powerful speaker line-up includes:

  • Konstantin Solodukhin, General Director, Rostelecom
  • Alexey Nichiporenko, Deputy CEO, MegaFon
  • Eldar Razroev, CEO, Sistema Mass Media
  • Tansu Yegen, CEO, Astelit, Ukraine
  • Konstantin Tikar, General Director, Beltelecom, Belarus
  • Garrett Johnston, Group Director of Strategic Marketing, MTS
  • Gulnara Khasianova, General Director, SkyLink
  • Jean-Pierre Vandromme, CEO, Golden Telecom
  • Sergey Kalugin, CEO, National Telecommunications
  • Tsvika Pakula, General Director, PeopleNet, Ukraine
  • Vitaly Slizen, CEO, Synterra
  • Victor Pinchuk, CEO, National Cable Networks (NKC)
  • Timofey Bokarev, President, NEXT MEDIA GROUP

To register to attend, please visit http://www.ComWorldSeries.com/russiacis

Источник: Com World Series

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