Russia’s largest cellular operator MTS has announced the end-December operating figures for both its domestic provider and its international subsidiaries. In its home market MTS saw a 15.8% annual increase in subscriber numbers, reaching 51.22 million at the end of 2006. More than 11.2 million of these were in the Moscow region, with another 2.7 million in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. The total mobile subscriber base in Russia is though to have passed the 150 million milestone during the fourth quarter, giving MTS one-third of the overall market.
Its international operations have witnessed strong growth; its business in Ukraine has now reached the 20 million subscriber milestone, up from 13.3 million a year ago, while its divisions in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan claimed 1.45 million and 180,000 customers respectively, year-on-year increases of 150% and 162%. As well as its consolidated operations, which have 72.86 million subscribers in total, MTS also has an unconsolidated 49%-owned subsidiary in Belarus, which had 3.21 million users at the end of 2006.