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MTS set to launch 3G-enabled mobile TV services
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[Image: 2010032352780401.jpg]
Mr Vsevolod Rozanov, President and CEO, Sistema Shyam Teleservices.

Russian mobile operator MTS is all set to launch third generation (3G) technology-based mobile TV services in the country over the next few weeks.

The company is already in talks with leading handset vendors to enable the service on mobile devices. Mobile TV services will allow subscribers to watch streaming channel on their mobile handsets on the go.

Data services

Though other cellular providers have also launched mobile TV services, the uptake has not been great since most of the existing offerings are based on a 2G platform.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Vsevolod Rozanov, Chief Executive Officer, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, said, “We are looking at driving data services more aggressively on our network and towards this we are planning to launch mobile TV services in the coming few weeks. We are talking to a number of handset vendors to enable this service. We are also in discussion with the handset makers to increase the battery life of handsets, which is essential for mobile TV services.” MTS, which operates on the CDMA platform, will use its existing spectrum in the 800 Mhz band to offer the service using Evolution Data Optimised (EVDO) technology. The company hopes to bring at least 20-25 data-enabled handsets over the next one year.

Once the handsets are in place then subscribers can access 3G services on these devices. Currently, MTS and other CDMA operators have limited 3G-enabled high speed Internet access through dongles for laptop users.

“Market for data products is growing faster than we expected. You can expect more innovation from our side going forward in this segment,” Mr Rozanov said.

MTS, which launched in India on March 26, 2009, has rolled out services in 11 circles and is expected to launch in parts of the country by the year-end. The company is not participating in the upcoming auction for 3G and broadband spectrum and is planning to utilise its existing air waves to offer next generation services.

“We could move to LTE in the future but for now the spectrum we have is enough to offer data applications on top of the voice services,” he said.

Stake issue

On the issue of Russian Government picking up a stake in the Indian venture, Mr Rozanov said that the money will probably flow into the company by the third quarter.

MTS is the only company with CDMA technology based services. Other CDMA players in the country also have GSM spectrum.

Mr Rozanov said that MTS was open to acquisitions in the Indian market in a bid to expand its operations but there wasn't any opportunity currently.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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