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05
Dec

New Year Sales Started

November 2004 brought record high net additions in Russia (3.8 mln). It seems this year operators decided to start Christmas campaign in advance. This could pay off as this Christmas promises to generate absolute maximum number of cellular additions in Russia ever.

Russian Mobile Subscribers

Mobile Subscribers November 30, 2004 October 31, 2004
Total Russia 65,590,000 61,770,000
  Penetration 45.2% 42.5%
Moscow 15,634,828 15,105,908
  Penetration 92.1% 88.9%
St.Petersburg 5,313,694 5,170,722
  Penetration 83.8% 81.6%
Subscribers outside Moscow and St.Pete 44,641,478 41,493,370
  Penetration 36.6% 34.1%

MTS was number one in net sales in St.Petersburg, while Vimpelcom led (for 9 months in a row!!) in regional net additions as well as in total Russia adds!

Russian Cellular
Market Breakdown, November 2004
Russian Net Additions,
November 2004

Top 10 Mobile Operators

# Company November 30, 2004 October 31, 2004
1 MTS 30,595,000 28,835,000
Moscow
6,985,000 6,830,000
Ukraine (UMC)
6,266,000 5,894,000
Belarus
1,100,000 1,041,000
Uzbekistan
287,000 264,000
2 Vimpelcom 23,160,000 21,580,000
Moscow
6,960,000 6,645,000
Kazakhstan
745,000 702,000
3 MegaFon 12,756,890 12,155,280
Moscow
1,603,751 1,514,166
Tajikistan
38,817 34,700
4 Uralsvyazinform 1,937,300 1,867,200
5 SMARTS Group 1,690,640 1,647,000
6 Sibirtelecom 861,600 782,700
7 N.Novgorod Cellular 596,945 554,388
8 Ekaterinburg Cellular Communications 354,572 336,185
9 New Telephone Company 236,800 224,450
10 Skylink 189,000 186,600

Moscow and St.Petersburg

Moscow License Area

Moscow passed 90% penetration mark (!). Vimpelcom grabbed more than half of total November net adds in the capital and came very close to its major competitor - MTS. The company announced that it had completely resolved numbering capacity issue and switched to its original 6-month churn period for pre-paid customers (up from 4 months introduced in June 2004). That translated in stronger than usual net additions for Vimpelcom in November.

Moscow Market Breakdown
November 30, 2004

Net Additions in Moscow,
November 2004

St.Petersburg and Leningrad Region

St. Petersburg Market Breakdown
November 30, 2004
Net Additions in St.Petersburg
November 2004

Beyond Russia

Quite by coincidence it turned out that in November Ukraine became an arena for both intensive political clashes and fierce competition between the rival GSM operators who rushed to capitalize on unprecedented subscriber growth. As of November 30, 2004 there were 12.2 mln subscribers or 26% penetration. In November MTS (UMC) returned leadership in net additions - 372k vs. 348k of its major rival Kiyvstar.

MTS continues to lead in Belarus and Uzbekistan both by market share and net additions.

There are a few acquisition deals pending in the CIS (Azerbaijan, Georgia).