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Russia's Largest Phone Carrier Is Taking on Uber

  • Target is 10% of sales from services other than voice, data
  • MTS sees Russian phone market as stable, with no price wars
Employees serve customers at a service desk inside a Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (MTS) mobile communications store in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. Billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s Sistema PJSFC may have to reduce its stake in Russia’s largest wireless carrier, Mobile TeleSystems PJSC, to help pay a $2.3 billion court damages bill, according to investment analysts.
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Mobile TeleSystems PJSC is offering online taxi hailing and medical appointments over video, as Russia’s largest mobile carrier pursues new apps for revenue growth amid stiff wireless price competition.

The carrier made an speedy foray into Russia’s taxi business in October after Uber Technologies Inc. in July agreed to merge its operations into a joint venture with rival Yandex NV. That digital service and others could make up 10 percent of MTS’s sales in a few years and probably more than half of revenue in the longer term, Vyacheslav Nikolaev, the company’s head of marketing, said in an interview in Moscow.