Friday, August 26, 2016


Russian Cellular Operator To Return To Turkmenistan

Russian cellular operator MTS is on the way to resuming its business in Turkmenistan, almost 18 months after it suspended operations.

The chairman of the holding company that owns MTS, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, said on Turkmen television that a deal was reached May 2 between the company and President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

MTS began operations in Turkmenistan in 2005 but suspended its business in December 2010 when its five-year license expired and was not extended by the Turkmen Communications Ministry.

The quality of the firm's mobile services was criticized by the Turkmen leader, who also ordered the government to create "at least three nonstate mobile operators" and promised state preferences to joint ventures with foreign companies.

MTS had proven popular among Turkmen for its marginally better service compared to state telecommunications firms.

Based on reporting by AP and ITAR-TASS
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by: Catherine Fitzpatrick from: New York
May 14, 2012 06:46
Actually, I don't think it's quite as firm as all that. As often happens with Russia and Turkmenistan -- or any foreign country and Turkmenistan -- Berdymukhamedov says there are "prospects for mutually profitable cooperation" but the Russian or other foreigner thinks there is a concrete deal. Then, a commission has to be formed to negotiate it for the next year... The paper is not signed yet, the phones aren't turned on yet. But it's looking closer to a deal than it was, and that would be good, as 2.4 million people lost their cell phone service, and only some hundreds of thousands got it back with the state service, which is worse. The big question is how much Internet will be on these phones, once they get back in circulation.

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