MTS acquires Russian operator to boost 3G spectrum

James Pearce
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MTS has bought BCC from Rosetelecom, boosting its spectrum holdings in Western Russia

MTS has snapped up regional Russian MNO Bashkortostan Cellular Communication (BCC) for around $5 million in order to boost its spectrum holdings in the Urals region of the country.

The deal doubles MTS’s holdings in the 2100MHz band by adding an additional two 15MHz slices, while it has also snapped up two 4.4MHz chunks in the 450MHz band as well.

The 300 million rubles MTS is paying to BCC-parent Rosetelecom includes net debt. The firm said it will use the acquired spectrum to boost 3G network capacity and speed in the Western Russia region.

MTS VP for technology and IT Andrei Ushatskiy said: "The acquisition of a significant frequency resource at a reasonable price in Bashkortostan, one of Russia’s ten largest regional telecom markets, is fully aligned with MTS’ strategy of enhancing the Group’s capabilities throughout Russia’s regions. 

“With this investment, we are directly increasing our 3G network capacity and speed in Bashkortostan by doubling the frequency resource in the 2,100 MHz band. We intend to use these frequencies to further develop our data networks.”

MTS recently revealed plans to cut its retail portfolio in Russia in an attempt to reduce churn, with rates as high as 99% in the Russian market.