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New network JV on the cards in Russia

20 сентября 2012

Two of Russia's big three telecoms operators are in talks over a possible network-sharing joint venture that could be expanded to include other parties, it emerged on Wednesday.

The country's largest mobile operator MTS confirmed to Reuters that it is holding discussions with rival Vimpelcom that could lead to the creation of a mobile towers company. However, the telco insisted that talks are at an early stage and nothing has been finalised. The company also declined to comment on possible cost savings.

Meanwhile, Vimpelcom told the newswire that the new entity would be charged with building new mobile towers as well as servicing existing ones.

"We are now in talks with other operators on the creation of a joint venture," a spokesperson for the company told Reuters. "It is a long-term and complicated project."

The newswire listed telecoms operators MegaFon, Tele2 and Vimpelcom as potential partners, as well as the state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

In a separate story, Alcatel-Lucent announced that it is involved in a project with Vimpelcom that will see it upgrade the telco's data transport and mobile backhaul networks in Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan with IP/MPLS technology.

"This transformation will give Vimpelcom a simpler network structure, which will help improve performance and reliability, and reduce the cost of operations," Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement.

It added that the move to IP networks will "lay the groundwork" for the rollout of LTE in future.

"IP video, multimedia, and other high-bandwidth applications are becoming increasingly popular, which is driving requirements for greater speed, efficiency and performance," said Georgy Pisarenko, head of group product and platform development of Vimpelcom. "The deployment of an all-IP infrastructure from Alcatel-Lucent will reduce network complexity and cost, while increasing efficiency, and serves as an important step in an ongoing evolution to IP across all of our operations."

Источник: Total Telecom

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