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Capturing Moscow
July 1, 2011 11:03

Russian officials have discovered Swedish mobile operator Tele2 signal in the Moscow region. The company has no permission to work on this territory. The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) has already warned Tele2 of a licenses revocation possibility. 
Swedish  telecommunication company Tele2 operates in Russia since 2003. During this time the company managed to achieve good results, constantly expanding its presence in the market through the takeover of smaller companies. At this moment Swedish company established itself on the fourth place in the ranking of the largest mobile operators in Russia, yielding to MTS, VimpelCom and MegaFon. In 2011 year Tele2 became the second company in Russia to operate on Aeroflot planes. 
The late market arrival in Russia played its role. The competition is difficult. At the same time Tele2's presence on the Russian market is very important. In 2010 year they had more than a half of company's subscribers were situated in Russia. Tele2 is presented not in all regions. It still can't break into two most significant markets — Moscow and Moscow region. But it's a real tasty morsel for the company as it's more than 30% of all cellular market income in Russia. 
According to Mats Granryd, Tele2 CEO, company's licenses will be sufficient for another 5-6 years and after that Tele2 will require the new ones. Tele2 also plans to participate in competitive tenders to obtain a possibility to operate in 4G in 2014. As for now, Tele2 doesn't leave its attempts to increase its presence in the Moscow region. 
The company have been attemping to enter Moscow market for many years. In 2004 Tele2 tried to create a virtual network operator in Moscow, but their talks with MegaFon on this issue had no result. In April, 2011 they tried again. Tele2 started selling the tariff plan "Call cheaply" in Moscow. The tarif allows to make calls just for 1,5 rubles per minute. The proposal has been created for Muscovites, who travels in the region and abroad. However, Swedish debut in Moscow failed.
Even so, Tele2 managed to get into the Moscow region. Although, they made it from the back door, illegally. Roskomnadzor spotted the signal in the Moscow region and warned the company. 
The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications found that Tele2's subsidiaries, providing cellular services in the Moscow region, use base stations in Tula, Kaluga and Smolensk. The Federal Service ordered to eliminate the violations. 
Meanwhile, Tele2 PR Service is trying to attract mass media's interest not only with some news, but with some provocations as well. For example, Tele2 has arranged a fake meteorite fall in the Baltic States and in Russia, also they have organized the march of pregnant schoolgirls. There was a time Tele2's banners with slogans "they are taking the last shirt"  were hanging side by side with advertising posters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, this tricks may have nothing in common with "capturing" the Moscow region. Most likely, the engineers incorrectly configured the settings, so the signal have inadvertently intruded into the Moscow region.


Author: Ksenia Dzhalagonia

Tags: Russian technologies Russian business Russian companies Russian mobile operators  

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