Author: Mikhail Doroshevich
Belarus is a major portal for MTS expansion to western markets, according to Vladimir Ermoshin, head of the MTS-Russia office in Belarus and former Prime Minister, who made comments to such effect at a launch ceremony of the MTS network in Vitebsk, Polock and Novopolotsk.
By 2004, According to Ermoshin, the MTS network will cover 90 per cent of Belarusian territory.
In order to reach this goal, the company has had to change its investment plans. The sum of E186m will now be invested in building a network over the next year, and not over a ten-year period from 2002 to 2012, as it had been previously announced.
The company has now 200 base stations and 66,500 subscribers in Belarus. By the end of 2003 MTS will have built 224 more stations and the company hopes to increase the number of subscribers to between 260,000 and 300,000. In 2004, MTS is planning to build another 800.
Currently, Belarusian ARPU is E14 and Russian ARPU is E23.
The company has 12m subscribers in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
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