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Russian mobile subscribers hit 190 million

19 марта 2009

The number of valid SIM cards in circulation in Russia at the end of February rose to 189.61 million, up 0.9 million during the month and taking penetration to 130.6%, according to analyst firm Advanced Communications & Media.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Ukraine the number of mobile subscribers declined slightly last month, and on-year growth was negligible, the regional specialists reported.

MTS remains the market leader in Russia by some way, but lost out to closest rival VimpelCom in terms of net additions.

MTS added 344,522 customers, or 35% of Russia's net adds, last month, taking its total customer base to 64.83 million. VimpelCom, meanwhile, claimed 43.2% of net additions to raise its subscriber base to 48.77 million.

Third-placed MegaFon reported a slight decline in subscribers to 43.40 million, down from 43.47 million a month earlier.

As a result, MegaFon has garnered a 34.2% share of the market, followed by VimpelCom with 25.7% and MegaFon with 22.9%.

While MTS has the dominant share of the Moscow market, with a massive 47.6%, MegaFon is the larger player in St. Petersburg, where it claims 33% of mobile users. Market shares in the Russian regions are almost identical to the nationwide figures.

Penetration in Moscow stands at a staggering 188%, while the figure is 169% in St. Petersburg.

While there is still some growth in the Russian market, it is a different story in the Ukraine.

Subscribers stood at 55.60 million at the end of February, down from 55.80 million a month earlier, and up by just 0.4 million since February 2008. Similarly, penetration slipped to 120.5% by the end of February, down slightly on-month and up by just 1.4% on the year-ago figure.

Of the major players, only third-ranked Astelit reported subscriber growth last month, with 74,000 new additions.

Market leader Kyivstar saw its customer base slip to 23.33 million, number two operator MTS fell to 18.02 million, and fourth-place minnow VimpelCom lost around 40,000 subscribers to takes its total to 1.91 million.

Источник: Total Telecom

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