Nokia Siemens Wins MTS Order for Advanced Russian Network

Nokia Siemens Networks won an order to build a fourth-generation wireless system in Moscow for OAO Mobile TeleSystems as Russia’s biggest mobile-phone company adds Internet capacity to attract customers.

Nokia Siemens will start construction this quarter on the long-term evolution technology network to permit speedier mobile online connections, MTS said today in a statement distributed at a Moscow press conference. The contract value is at least $200 million and may be extended, said Dmitry Solodovnikov, an MTS spokesman.

MTS awarded Stockholm-based Ericsson AB a three-year contract last month to set up LTE networks in southern Russia, the Volga region, Siberia and the Urals. The Nokia Siemens project, which Bloomberg News reported earlier today before the announcement was released, also includes the central Russia region surrounding the national capital. MTS hasn’t yet awarded 4G contracts for the two remaining regions of northwestern and far-eastern Russia.

Nokia Siemens is a 50-50 venture between mobile-phone manufacturer Nokia Oyj and German engineering company Siemens AG. Espoo, Finland-based Nokia agreed earlier this week to buy out the Munich-based partner’s share for 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

Russia allocated 4G licenses in July last year. MTS, OAO MegaFon, VimpelCom Ltd. and state-run OAO Rostelecom committed to invest at least 15 billion rubles ($452 million) annually through 2019 in the networks.

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