Moscow, Russian Federation Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS NYSE: MBT), the leading telecom operator in Russia and CIS, and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), world's leading provider of communications technologies and services, announced at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum the signing of an agreement to jointly develop telecommunications infrastructure for an LTE network rollout in Russia's Volga, Siberian, Ural and Southern Federal Districts.
Under the three-year agreement, Ericsson will begin in Q2 2013 to develop LTE networks in four Federal Districts covering more than half of the Russia's territory. During the first stage of the roll-out, Ericsson will supply not less than 10,000 LTE base stations. Ericsson will also provide network hardware and services in the Northwestern Federal District. As a part of the agreement, Ericsson and MTS will also expand their cooperation to further develop 2G/3G networks in several regions throughout Russia.
Andrei Dubovskov, MTS President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, We have long cooperated with Ericsson to develop our networks in Russia. Together we will bring leading edge networks to the regions that constitute the heart of and drive the progress of the Russia's economy. Economic development translates into high demand for access to mobile broadband and innovative services, which in turn fosters economic growth. Building on this past history of cooperation, we are pleased that Ericsson will continue their support through the deployment of the next generation networks throughout the Russian Federation. By the end of 2013, we wiil be offering LTE services in 15 of the Russia's regions.
Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, says: "We are delighted to partner with MTS to build an LTE network covering half of Russia. We are committed to bringing a great LTE experience to MTS customers and having built more than 150 LTE networks globally, we see the huge effect on society that LTE has had; 4G drives innovation and service development, and we are thrilled to make it available for the Russian market together with MTS."
MTS continues its aggressive build-out of the LTE networks. LTE TDD and FDD networks have already been launched in Moscow. The Company plans to cover approximately 600 population centers in Russia with LTE by the end of 2013.