The Russian mobile phone operators and fierce competitors, MTS and Vimpelcom, have signed a memorandum for collaborating in the construction of network infrastructures. The two companies are each planning to invest $2bn in joint Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, according to Kommersant. .In accordance with the agreement the companies plan to add 34 new sections (4,500 km) of fibre-optic cable by 2012.
It has been emphasised that this is the first global solution of its kind in Russia, with the two operators having joint access to infrastructure at all levels including base stations and joint outsourcing for network servicing.
At the end of July 2011, MTS and Vimpelcom controlled 31.6% and 24.9% of the mobile phone sector respectively, according to ACM-Consulting.