MTS to Commission its Network for Commercial Use by 1 December

Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, will launch its mobile communication network into commercial use in Uzbekistan by 1 December 2014.

The Government of Uzbekistan approved an order of return of MTS to mobile communication market of Uzbekistan.

On 31 July 2014, Mobile TeleSystems OJSC announced the signing of a settlement agreement with the Republic of Uzbekistan, which envisages that the operator will return to mobile communication market of Uzbekistan.

The signed agreement provides for establishment of a joint venture with MTS holding a 50.01% in the charter capital of the Operator while the remaining 49.99% will belong to a state-owned unitary enterprise established and managed by the State committee for communications, development of information systems and telecommunications technologies of the Republic of Uzbekistan – Center for Radio Communication, Broadcasting and Television (CRBT).

According to the resolution of the Government, MTS and the CRBT will create a joint venture Universal Mobile Systems (UMS) by 15 August 2014. The sides should register new operator by 25 September 2014, the resolution said.

UMS should launch its network in technical mode by 1 November and commission it for commercial use by 1 December 2014.

The Joint venture will operate on the basis of assets, equipment and infrastructure, which were previously owned by Uzdunrobita FE LLC, a former subsidiary of MTS in Uzbekistan, and which will be transferred to this newly established joint venture.

According to the Settlement agreement, the authorities of the Republic of Uzbekistan will grant the new operator 2G, 3G and LTE licenses, provide necessary frequencies and numbering capacity, ensure lease agreements for communication channels and issue all permissions required for the joint venture to operate and offer full telecommunications services throughout Uzbekistan.

MTS Uzbekistan worked in Uzbekistan till the summer 2012. In 2012, Uzbek Communication Agency suspended its licenses and later the court abolished its licenses.

Several employees of Uzdunrobita were fined and sentenced for correctional works for schemes, created for receiving illegal income. Assets of the company were handed over to the government, but the court abolished decision and said the operator should pay US$600 million of fines and penalties.

Tashkent Economic Court recognized FE LLC Uzdunrobita, a 100% subsidiary of Russia’s MTS in Uzbekistan, as bankrupt on 22 April 2013. In December 2013, assets of Uzdunrobita were handed over to balance of Uzbektelecom, national communication operator of Uzbekistan, without right to use them.


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