Russian telco Central Telegraph launched its long-rumoured mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service this week, Prime Tass Business News reports, piggybacking on the CDMA network of sister company SkyLink. The company, which is 51% owned by state holding company Szyazinvest, was issued with an MVNO licence in 2011, although the concession only includes a number range of 10,000, leaving little room for growth. Central Telegraph will provide mobile services under the ‘Qwerty’ brand that is currently used for broadband and IPTV services in Moscow.
Established in 1852 as Moscow’s very first telegraph station, Central Telegraph currently offers fixed voice telephony, broadband access and IPTV in Moscow and its environs. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the company was one of the few telecoms assets not consolidated by national operator Rostelecom during its April 2011 ‘mega-regional merger’. 51% of the company was acquired by Svyazinvest in late-2010, but previous attempts at integrating the lucrative unit into Rostelecom’s central operation have proven unsuccessful.