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MTS Signs Deal to Resume Services in Turkmenistan After Shut-Down

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Russia's Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has announced that it is resuming operations in Turkmenistan. The company says that it has secured a 5 year agreement with the government to settle a dispute.

The agreement may be extended for another five year term subject to fulfillment of certain conditions. The Agreement stipulates that MTS will on a monthly basis pay to TurkmenTelecom 30% of its net profit derived from operations in Turkmenistan.

MTS has been granted GSM and 3G licenses for a three-year term, has signed a number of interconnect and access to infrastructure agreements with Turkmenistan state-owned telecommunications providers and has been allocated other technical resources enabling it to resume operations throughout Turkmenistan.

MTS' infrastructure remains fully in place and MTS is currently working with the vendors to restore network's capacity and to quickly relaunch services to its subscriber base of more than 2.4 million customers.

On July 25, 2012, MTS, its wholly owned subsidiary BCTI, the government and state-owned operators Altyn Asyr and TurkmenTelecom signed an agreement settling all the legal claims relevant to the cessation of MTS's activities in Turkmenistan in December 2010.

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.

However with around 80% of the market, its closure affected millions of customers in the autocratic state.

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Tags: mts  Turkmenistan