According to the results of the tenders for the right of providing universal communication services, which were announced by the RF Federal Telecommunications Agency (Rossvyaz) in December 2006 and in January 2007, OJSC North-West Telecom has been recognized as the winner of the tenders for the right of providing universal telephone communication services using payphones in the Republic of Komi, Nenets Autonomous Area, Vologda Oblast (Web Site of Rossvyaz 21.12.06), in Murmansk Oblast, Pskov Oblast and the Republic of Karelia (Web Site of Rossvyaz 23.01.07).
The tender commission included representatives of the Ministry for Information Technologies and Communications of Russia, the Federal Telecommunications Agency, the Ministry for Economic Development of Russia, specialized committees of the State Duma and the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Expert Board of the RF President, as well as state authorities in RF entities, where the tenders were held.
According to the terms of the tender, OJSC N.W.Telecom will, all in all, install 7810 payphones in 7676 settlements:
- 616 universal payphones in 608 settlements in the Republic of Komi,
- 43 universal payphones in 41 settlements in the Nenets Autonomous Area,
- 3218 universal payphones in 3181 settlements in Vologda Oblast,
- 166 universal payphones in 135 settlements in Murmansk Oblast,
- 3105 universal payphones in 3091 settlements in Pskov Oblast,
- 662 universal payphones in 620 settlements in the Republic of Karelia.
OJSC North-West Telecom, as a universal servicing operator, must start providing universal telephone communication services using payphones in the tender territory (i.e. put into operation at least one payphone) within six months from the date of making the respective agreements with the RF Federal Telecommunications Agency.
Payphones for the universal communication services will be installed in convenient public places according to the requirements and rules of universal communication services provision. All universal servicing payphones must be put into operation by OJSC N.W.Telecom within a year's time from the moment of signing the respective agreement with Rossvyaz.
The rates for local telephone connections through universal payphones have been established by the RF Federal Telecommunications Agency and are set forth in the tender terms for each region. They will be from 45 to 55 kopecks per minute. Long-distance and international telephone communication services via universal servicing payphones will be provided at the rates of telecommunication operators. It will be possible both to make a phone call and to receive a free incoming call from and to a universal servicing payphone. Universal servicing payphone cards will be sold at clients servicing centers of OJSC N.W.Telecom.
General Manager of OJSC NWT V.A. Akulich has said more than once: "The institute of universal communication service, that has been especially created to resolve the problem of installing telephones in complicated areas and to ensure access to information communication lines for each citizen of Russia is an extremely well-timed and reasonable solution of this problem and a manifestation of the state's care of its citizens. OJSC N.W.Telecom fully possesses the required technical potential to implement the project and to provide the universal communication service in the Company's operation area."