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February 11, 2011

CenterTelecom begins full MVNO testing in Sky Link infrastructure

Moscow, February 11, 2011. CenterTelecom OJSC and Sky Link CJSC have begun testing of voice services based on Full MVNO within the framework of Domolink MOBI project in Moscow region. After completion of testing the companies plan to put the project into commercial operation in the pilot region, and then to launch it in Voronezh, Vladimir, Tver, Ryazan and Kaluga regions.

In first stage of implementation of Full MVNO project in late 2010 CenterTelecom began providing wireless Internet access service under Domolink MOBI brand in Moscow region. The project has been implemented on basis of Sky Link's mobile network*. For this CenterTelecom's organizational structure was adjusted for implementation of wireless access projects; the company formed a tunnel for traffic transfer through CenterTelecom's channels, built a billing system and developed Domolink MOBI service for mass customers segment. The second stage of the project included testing of Domolink MOBI voice services since early February.

Vaagn Martirosyan, General Director, CenterTelecom, Vice President, Rostelecom, said: "The efforts we made within one and half year were not for nothing; we finally implemented great and fully functional solution. However there is a delay in provision of DEF numbering to us by the regulator. We need this in order to begin providing Domolink MOBI voice and convergent services."

The project is being implemented as a part of an agreement "About Intention to Organize Mobile Virtual Networks on Basis of IMT-MC-450 Network" signed by CenterTelecom and Sky Link in October 2009, and of MVNO agreement concluded on September 24, 2010.

Sky Link was the first Russian mobile operator working on MVNO business model. It launched few pilot projects in Russian regions. That allowed Sky Link to work on technologic and legal aspects of the projects, to develop standard forms of contracts and to form two types of models which can be used either in existing networks or for implementation of partnership schemes in the course of building of networks in new regions. Gulnara Khasanova, General Director, Sky Link, pointed out: "MVNO business model is being formed on basis of a balance of the market players using various technologies. While entering new market segments or providing new services to existing customers the operators can increase their business efficiency and revenues, and to expand their programs of customers loyalty without increasing in their costs."

Currently over ten MVNO projects with various degree of preparedness to putting into commercial operation are to be launched in 1H 2011 in Sky Link network. In future the MVNO projects may be replicated for expansion of a range of mobile and convergent services within the framework of the integrated Rostelecom's product strategy, as well for the company's partners in the territories where Sky Link operates as well as in new regions.

* Sky Link's radio frequency resource and radio access network are used for implementation of Full MVNO model; MVNO partner uses its own resources including switching center, numbering resource, billing system, CRM system, and distribution, sales and maintenance network.




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