Russian fibreco TTK makes MVNO play
26 August 2011 | Guy Matthews
Russian fibre network operator TTK has started to offer MVNO services in the Nizhny-Novgorod region of the country, leveraging the cellular network of local operator NSS.
Leading Russian cellco MTS is also part of the deal, offering TTKs MVNO subscribers in the region its 3G services.
TTK announced its intention to play in the virtual mobile services space in February of this year with the promise to launch MVNO services for the benefit of its main shareholder, state-owned Russian railway company RZD which employs around 980,000 people around the former Soviet nation. To this end TTK negotiated with the countrys three nationwide mobile licensees MTS, VimpelCom and MegaFon, offering the use of its trans-Russian fibre backbone for backhaul purposes.
TTK owns and operates the largest fibre network in Russia, running alongside the countrys railways and extending to over 53,000 km. TTK said the network has over 1,000 nodes across Russia, and connects the far east of the country with western Europe. For the last two years it has been promoting this route as a terrestrial alternative to link the far east with Europe, saving a long sea-bound journey for data traffic.
In a separate move, Russias regulatory authorities have approved the acquisition by MTS of Sistema-Inventure, which gives MTS full control of MGTS, a telecoms operator that serves capital city Moscow and the surrounding region.