Market News


2002 Gross Additions of Moscow Operators is Over 5.2 mln

AC&M reports that Moscow mobile operators sold more than 5.2 contracts in 2002. Average monthly sales were slightly over 400,000 until December when Christmas fever resulted in more than 700,000 new contracts sold.

Meanwhile, net additions in Moscow were only 60% of total 2002 sales. This ratio reflects the situation when the major part of growth in Moscow area comes from budget segment of users as saturation approaches.

Sales of Largest Moscow Operators in 2002.

Megafon significantly improved Moscow sales in the end of the year thanks to its new line of "Priem" tariffs. MTS sales skyrocketed with massive ad campaign and introduction of "Jeans" pre-paid brand. Vimpelcom's strong positions were undermined by MTS' aggressive moves in October and November but the company's sales bounced back in December.

2002 results are available as AC&M's Russian Cellular Market Update, December 2002 (PDF file).

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Total Number of Cellular Users in Russia Exceeds 20 mln

NOTE: Below is the updated version of our report published on March 3. We have reviewed numbers based on the latest information available.

AC&M reports that Russian mobile companies have more than 20 mln subscribers. Total number of Russian cellular users is 20,100,000, which translates into 13.8% penetration of mobile services in the country.

Top 10 Cellular Operators

Company February 28, 2003 January 31, 2003
Total Moscow Total Moscow
MTS* 7,320,000 3,385,000 7,050,000 3,245,000
Vimpelcom 5,850,000 3,850,000 5,620,000 3,800,000
Megafon** 3,445,000 382,278 3,235,750 361,100
SMARTS Group 619,940   582,000  
Uralsvyazinform 516,600   471,600  
Taif-Telcom 313,648   296,375  
N.Novgorod Cellular 191,000   177,000  
Tatincom 120,584   119,081  
Tomsk Cellular Communications 114,311   107,173  
Ekaterinburg Cellular 104,300   85,000  

* including Belarus subscribers (65,000); UMC (Ukraine) will be consolidated starting from March 2003
** including 5,000 in TT-Mobile (Tajikistan)


Alternative Operators Earned More Than 50% of the Industry Revenue

According to the information released by Russian Ministry of Communications, total revenue of the country's telecommunications industry amounted to RUR 270.2 bn (US$ 8.62 bn).

It is important to note that for the first time in the history "alternative" operators outperformed "traditional" ones in terms of revenue. "Traditional" operators mainly include Svyazinvest regional subsidiaries while the rest of operators dubbed as "new" or "alternative". Alternative operators include cellular services providers, ISPs, non-Svyazinvest carriers, etc. According to AC&M estimates, cellular companies alone earned approximately US$ 3.2 bn in 2002.

Russian Telecom Industry Revenue

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More Than 1 mn of New Users Enlisted by Mobile Operators in January

AC&M reports that total number of cellular subscribers in Russia is over 19 mln as of January 31, 2003. Despite the fact that January is traditionally perceived as a month of general slowdown in mobile sales, mobile operators harvested more than 1 million of new subscriptions in the first month of 2003. Vimpelcom finally announced that acquisition of Stavropol-based StavTeleSot is over. The deal adds almost 200,000 to the company's subs counter.
Top 10 Russian Cellular Operators
4SMARTS Group570,000
7N.Novgorod Cellular180,000
9Tomsk Cellular107,173
10Delta Telecom99,000
as of January 31, 2003
*StavTeleSot (~200,000) is consolidated starting January 2003

Russian Сellular Market Breakdown, January 2003

Russian Сellular Market Breakdown

Moscow market

Vimpelcom remains a leader in Moscow with 3.870 mln subscribers while MTS narrows the gap with 3.245 mln. Megafon enlisted 48,600 new users in January bringing total number of its Moscow users to 361,000.

Net Additions in Moscow, January 2003

Moscow mobile market


Russian Internet Data, Jan 2003

Тotal number of unique hosts in .RU domain is growing steadily reflecting proliferation of Internet services in the country. In January 2003 it jumped to 573 thousand.
Hosts in .ru domain

Source: Yandex

Cellular Market Update 2002

Download a PDF version of AC&M's Russian Cellular Market Update, December 2002 and get an overview of Russian cellular market in 2002.