Infrastructure for telecommunications
Infrastructure for telecommunications
Service-Telecom Group is the leading independent operator of telecommunication towers in Russia with a strong portfolio of over 19 100 towers (as of December 2022). The company is headquartered in Moscow and St. Petersburg and operates throughout Russia.
Service-Telecom covers the full cycle of creating and maintaining telecom infrastructure for MNO’s and other digital service providers, enhancing mobile broadband connectivity for Russian consumers.
Almost 99% of the company's revenue comes from its key clients, Russian federal mobile network operators - Beeline, MTS, Tele2, and Megafon.
The company is known for its operational efficiency and rapid development through organic growth and M&A. In December 2021, Service-Telecom closed the first-ever tower portfolio deal in the Russian market and acquired 15,400 towers from Veon, one of Russia’s leading mobile network operators.
We build turnkey communication facilities: we select the optimal location for the construction, connect to power grids and provide service. Using our infrastructure, operators can reduce their capital and operating costs, expand radio coverage, and improve communication quality. Our infrastructure is the basis for the development of communication networks throughout Russia.
We provide full-scope Operations & Maintenance services for communication facilities. . Our technical engineers and support staff promptly respond to technical issues and eliminate them in a 24/7 mode.
December 26, 2022, Moscow – Service-Telecom, one of the largest independent wireless telecommunication infrastructure operators, announces its acquisition of two regional tower companies – Opora Telecom and Dacha na svyazi.
The transaction involves 100% of both companies. New acquisitions assume the increase of the Service-telecom portfolio and strong leadership position in the Russian tower market.
Opora Telecom and Dacha na svyazi manage more than 500 sites located in the Central Federal District (the Voronezh, Penza, and Belgorod regions) and the North-West of Russia (St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region).
The total portfolio of Service-Telecom following the acquisitions is more than 19,100 sites. Gazprombank acted as an exclusive financial partner in both transactions.
«The purchase of Opera Telecom and DNS is another step in our consistent implementation of growth strategy through mergers and acquisitions. We continue to expand our telecommunications infrastructure portfolio and improve the service for our clients - mobile operators, contributing to the development of mobile network and the Internet across the country», – said Nikolay Berdin, CEO of Service-Telecom.
March 30, 2022, Moscow – Group of companies Service-Telecom confirmed compliance requirements of The Government Commission for Sustainable Development of the Russian Economy and was approved in the list of systemically important organisations.
On 6 September 2021, VEON announced that it had reached a deal to sell its 15,400 site Russian tower portfolio to Service-Telecom for a total consideration of RUB70.65bn (EUR848mn). The deal marks the first major sale and leaseback transaction in Russia’s vast tower market and is the first big step in VEON realising the value of its 50,000 towers across Russia, and its European and Asian markets. TowerXchange examines the transaction, the Russian tower market, and the implications for VEON’s future tower strategy.
In their Q4 2020 results, VEON announced that it would create towerco business units in each of its markets, looking at ways to better realise the value of its 50,000 site strong tower portfolio. How the operator planned to realise the value remained open, with the rollup into a single towerco, the formation of joint ventures or the sale of a minority or majority stake all options under consideration.
Russia was always the most advanced of the markets in terms of formation of the towerco business unit, and was a top priority market in which the operator was looking to crystallise the value of its assets. VEON had carved its then 14,500 sites into National Tower Company back in 2016, reportedly reaching advanced discussions to sell the unit (with Russian Towers understood to be the front runner), before the plug was pulled on the sale. Interest however always remained in the portfolio, with a healthy towerco market already in place in the country.
Service-Telecom formed in 2015, headed by CEO Nikolay Berdin, and with the backing of the top three Russian banks. Within its first year of operations the company built 350 sites, and has continued to rollout new sites whilst also completing a handful of towerco acquisitions (Link Development in 2018, Technoresource in 2019 and Neva Telecom in 2021). The towerco’s portfolio currently stands at 2,851 sites, the majority of which are located in the investment attractive regions of Moscow and St Petersburg, although the company continues to expand nationally. Service Telecom’s sites are all ground based towers and have a tenancy ratio of 1.9x, with revenue deriving from each of Russia’s four MNOs equally.
The deal will add 15,400 sites to Service-Telecom’s portfolio, propelling the towerco to just outside the top 20 largest towercos in the world (21st place). The portfolio they are inheriting includes ground based towers and tall shareable rooftop sites (VEON’s smaller, non-shareable ones were not included in the deal). Currently the tenancy ratio of the inherited portfolio is 1.3x, although non VEON tenants have typically been agreed on a barter rather than commercial arrangement – Service-Telecom’s priority will be to commercialise the assets rapidly, leveraging the systems in place from their existing operations.
The deal between VEON and Service-Telecom marks an important landmark for the Russian tower market. A handful of strong independent towercos (Russian Towers, Service Telecom and Vertical) as well as a long tail of smaller players (collectively owning around 3,000 sites) had emerged, and new build and M&A between towerco players had created decent growth opportunities, but a 15,000+ tower deal is a game changer.
Link to the full version of the article - https://www.towerxchange.com/veon-agrees-the-sale-of-russian-tower-portfolio-to-service-telecom/
December 1, 2021, Moscow – Group of companies "Service-Telecom", an independent operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructure, today announces the successful conclusion of the transaction with VEON Ltd. regarding the acquisition 100% of National Tower Company, a subsidiary of VEON, which owns a portfolio of approximately 15,400 mobile network towers in Russia.
Following VEON’s entry into an agreement to sell its mobile network towers in Russia to Service-Telecom as announced on 6 September 2021, regulatory approvals have been obtained by the parties and this transaction has now successfully completed.
The purchase price for the transaction of RUB70.65bn (USD957mn equivalent) corresponds to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 11.7x based on the projected EBITDA of National Tower Company post-completion. VEON has received a payment of RUB64.4bn (USD872mn equivalent) at closing and the balance of certain deferred amounts will be due and payable over the next three years. The proceeds from this transaction will be used to reduce Group external debt.
The conclusion of this transaction paves the way for the establishment of a long-term partnership pursuant to a master tower agreement that has been entered into between PJSC Vimpelcom and Service-Telecom. In connection with the transaction, J.P. Morgan and Allen & Overy acted as financial and legal advisors, respectively, to a wholly owned subsidiary of VEON. Aspring Capital and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted as financial and legal advisors to Service-Telecom, respectively.
Service-Telecom CEO Nikolay Berdin noted: “Following a highly competitive tender process, we completed this historical, first-ever, tower transaction in the Russian market. This highlighted the financial capabilities of the group and demonstrated the expertise of the Service-Telecom team both in its ability to manage the tower business and M&A. By entering this transaction with VimpelCom, we'll continue to successfully run the business to develop a national mobile network infrastructure that matches the country's ambitions.”
Kaan Terzioglu, VEON’s CEO,
said: “I am encouraged by the successful conclusion of this transaction and
look forward to building our partnership with Service-Telecom. This transaction
unlocks the value of our infrastructure assets in Russia and allows the release
of capital to further optimise VEON’s balance sheet while at the same time achieving
more financial flexibility for the group”.
Transaction reflects a total enterprise value of RUB70.65bn (approximately USD970 million) and an EV/EBITDA multiple of 11.7x 2021E
Moscow, 6 September 2021 – Group of companies "Service-Telecom", an independent operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructure, announces today that it has reached an agreement to acquire mobile network towers in Russia of VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a leading global provider of connectivity and internet services, for a total consideration of RUB70.65bn (USD970million equivalent).
The transaction involves the acquisition of 100% of National Tower Company (“NTC”), a subsidiary of VEON, which owns a portfolio of approximately 15,400 mobile network towers in Russia. As a result of the transaction, the total portfolio operated by Service-Telecom will be about 18,000 sites.
Under the terms of the deal, PJSC VimpelCom and Service-Telecom have entered into a long-term master agreement regarding the provision of tower infrastructure services for an initial period of 8 years, and multiple extensions of 8 years at the discretion of PJSC VimpelCom. Both parties will additionally enter into a new build-to-suit program comprising of up to 5,000 sites by 2029.
The purchase price for the transaction of RUB70.65bn (USD970m equivalent) corresponds to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 11.7x 2021 based on projected EBITDA of NTC post-completion.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Service-Telecom CEO Nikolay Berdin noted: “The agreement reached with VEON is a key achievement for Service-Telecom on its way to becoming the leading telecommunication infrastructure operator in Russia. With PJSC VimpelCom, as our partner, we expect to drive sustainable long-term growth in Russia while constructing the infrastructure backbone of the digital economy and helping to enhance mobile broadband connectivity for consumers. The transaction is financed with the support of Gazprombank whereas investment and legal advice are provided by Aspring Capital and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP respectively”.
Commenting on the transaction, Kaan Terzioglu, VEON’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Today’s transaction is a major step forward in realising the value of VEON’s infrastructure portfolio for our shareholders. By entering into a long-term partnership with a strong, experienced counterparty in Russia, Beeline will enjoy the operational and financial flexibility to serve its customers with market-leading services through one of the nation’s largest and most technologically-advanced mobile networks. Moreover, this transaction allows to release the capital to deleverage VEON’s balance sheet and invest in critical aspects of active network and digital opportunities while achieving more financial flexibility”.
August 16, 2021, Moscow – Service-Telecom
Group, one of the largest independent infrastructure operators for telecom
companies, acquired the portfolio of Neva Telecom LLC in the Leningrad region
and signed a cooperation agreement with Neva Telecom Service, under which the
companies seek to join forces for further infrastructure development in the
Service-Telecom Group, one of the largest independent infrastructure operators for communication companies, signed an agreement with the founders of Neva Telecom LLC and Neva Telecom Service LLC to acquire a portfolio of telecom facilities and further cooperate in the Leningrad region.
As part of the deal, Service-Telecom Group acquired 100% of Neva Telecom LLC, while Neva Telecom Service LLC was retained under its founders' control. The acquisition of Neva Telecom was facilitated by Gazprombank as a financial partner.
The amount of the deal is not disclosed. Sputnik Group was the investment advisor for the deal.
Service-Telecom Group has enhanced its leadership in the North-West of Russia by expanding its portfolio in the region to over 1000 infrastructure facilities.
Nikolay Berdin, CEO of Service-Telecom Group, said: "For us, the Northwest Federal District is one of the key regions where we operate, and the deal with Neva Telecom is a consistent implementation of Service-Telecom's development strategy through M&A. This new scale enables us to better meet the needs of our customers and contribute to maintaining high quality and availability of mobile connectivity in the region".
Andrey Rusinov, General Director of Neva Telecom LLC, said: "Thanks to the deal with Service Telecom Group and the cooperation agreement, we now have a strategic partner. At the time of active consolidation in the infrastructure market, this collaboration will allow us to successfully implement ambitious growth plans.
Evgeny Penkin, Director, Sputnik Group, said: "The signed agreement makes Service Telecom the largest mobile infrastructure operator in the Leningrad region. Its consistent expansion through mergers and acquisitions once again helps to secure above-market growth rates".
October 1, 2019, Moscow – ‘Transport infrastructure of Russia – 2019’ Forum organized by Public-Private Partnership Development Center was held 1 October in Moscow.
The Forum brought together regulators and representatives of administrations, transport, infrastructure companies and other specialists of the public-private partnership.
Within the framework of the strategic session "PPP in the context of digital solutions in the field of transport and logistics", "Service-Telecom" took part in the discussion of the implementation of current public-private partnership projects, as well as the prospects for their development.
April 24, 2019, Moscow – ‘Ecosystem of infrastructure of Russian mobile networks – 2019’ Forum organized by Huawei Russia was held 24 April in Moscow.
The Forum brought together regulators and representatives of administrations, mobile network operators, infrastructure companies and other specialists of the mobile industry.
The main theme of the Forum was development of infrastructure and technologies to create a new generation network.
Service-Telecom made a presentation on the topic ‘Infrastructure business on the way to 5G: Challenges and implementation ways’ and participated in the panel discussion of infrastructure development. Service-Telecom Group of Companies and Huawei Russia signed the Memorandum of understanding outlining the framework of strategic cooperation.
22 April 22, 2019, Moscow – Service-Telecom Group of Companies, a federal telecom tower infrastructure company, acquired 100% stake in Technoresource LLC, Nizhny Novgorod.
Technoresource is an independent infrastructure operator focusing on telecom infrastructure construction on city street light infrastructure in Nizhny Novgorod.
As a part of the company's strategy for the development of telecom infrastructure in the regions of the Russian Federation, Service-Telecom Group of Companies is largely investing in the development of telecommunications in the Nizhny Novgorod region.
Nikolay Berdin, Service-Telecom CEO, on the acquisition: ‘We consistently implement the company's growth strategy through M&A activity which helps us enter the new regions and develop Russian telecom infrastructure. The acquisition of Technoresource allows our company to provide customers, primarily mobile operators, with a wider range of services for the placement of their equipment both in and outside the city. We plan to further develop the infrastructure in the Nizhny Novgorod region to digitalize the regional economy and provide high-quality communication services and mobile Internet.’
The combined company will manage more than 1 500 sites.
December 3, 2018, Moscow – Service-Telecom joined the Round table related to legislation on special zoning and public easements.
Organized by the
Moscow regional technical inventory Bureau (BTI) with the support of the Agency
for strategic initiatives and the Ministry of ecology and environmental
management of the Moscow region, the event brought together more than 150
As a part of the discussion Service-Telecom delivered on overview of amendments to the Land Code on public easements and its impact on tower business.
For more information visit https://mobti.ru/press-tsentr/novosti/20181204_5/
April 9, 2018, London – Service-Telecom joined the 3rd Annual TowerXchange Meetup Europe 2018 held 9-10 April in London. Service-Telecom participated in a panel discussion on the development of urban infrastructure for 5G network in Moscow.
Service-Telecom gains both footprint and expertise with the acquisition of St
Petersburg’s Link Development
Service-Telecom’s announcement of their acquisition of Link Development sees Russia’s number three and four towercos consolidate to offer sites in both of Russia’s major cities. As well as increasing their geographical footprint, the deal has also broadened the scope of Service-Telecom’s infrastructure expertise, with their own agile small cell and light pole experience being supplemented with Link Development’s background in macro towers and great tenancy ratios. TowerXchange caught up with Nikolai Berdin, CEO of Service-Telecom, to find out more about how the deal took place and their plans for the future.
TowerXchange: Congratulations on the acquisition of Link Development! Can you tell us about the acquisition and your motivations for the deal?
Nikolai Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: The tower market
in Russia is growing and we’re on top of that market, the third independent big
player by most accounts. We now have around 1,000 towers in our portfolio: 500
which we built through Service-telecom alone, approximately 400 which we acquired
with Link Development and another 100 which will be finalised by the end of the
TowerXchange: Do you think there’s scope for further towerco consolidation in the Russian market?
Nikolai Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: At the moment
the market is in two parts. As for the towers which the MNOs own, there’s no
sign of an immediate deal but we haven’t ruled out the idea of acquiring one of
The second part of the market is the independent sector:
Russian Towers, Vertical and Service-Telecom, plus new entrants in the Moscow
region and also local companies who operate in each region of the Russian
Federation. There are definitely opportunities for growth and for further M&A
in this area, to improve and scale up what the independent sector can offer to
their MNO tenants.
TowerXchange: Can you tell us about what attracted you to acquire Link Development?
Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: If you look at the landscape of Russian
independent towercos in early 2016, we saw only four reasonably active players
and in local markets the main activity was in Moscow and St Petersburg.
felt consolidation was the next logical step. Link Development was a leader in
the St Petersburg market and the best target for us to expand our geographical
footprint. No one else has had success in the St Petersburg market, and it has
very good potential, so the logic was simple: by buying the leader in the market
we consolidated our portfolio and clarified our vision as well as giving
ourselves a strong presence in the two major markets in Russia. It hasn’t been
an easy journey and we’ve had to work hard to align everyone’s expectations and
get the full buy-in of our shareholders, but now the deal is completed, we all
view it as viable and long term.
TowerXchange: Can you talk us through your plans to integrate the two organisations?
Nikolai Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: We decided that we’d like to create one big joint company with one team, present both in Moscow and St Petersburg. The idea of this is to enjoy the synergies which can be generated by two teams with expertise between them in constructing macro towers, achieving great tenancy ratios and using best practices in terms of monitoring towers. Resolving power issues when three or four tenants mean there’s a huge amount of equipment on a tower isn’t the same as maintaining street poles with only one or two tenants sitting on there. This is why Link can bring us some of the best expertise in the market. Link has been operating in the Russian market longer than any other independent player, and we’re confident that the results they’ve achieved in terms of colocation is much more significant.
the same time the Moscow team is better positioned to work in a competitive
environment, they’re more experienced in growing a portfolio rapidly and has
experience in small cells and light poles which is where the market is going
today. We envisage that tomorrow’s networks will comprise of several layers,
and there will be a place for both macro and small cells in that
infrastructure. By joining the companies, we get expertise in both sides as
well as expanding our offering across Russia’s two biggest cities.
TowerXchange: Now the Veon deal seems to be off the table, what do you see as the routes for growth for independent towercos in the Russian market?
Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: We’d like to continue to expand operations into
new geographical regions. We are already starting up operations in the Urals
and Krasnodar regions, plus we now have professionals in both Moscow and St Petersburg
who will continue to grow business in these regions.
also investigating options to acquire local players in regional markets and to
continue to use M&A to grow our portfolio in these locations. But putting
all this in place we’re aiming to create a platform which will be best
positioned to acquire a bigger tower portfolio from an MNO in the coming few
are four MNOs in Russia and each one has its own stance towards divesting
towers. Some are rigidly intending to keep hold of their infrastructure and
others are more open to working with independent players, so we will keep the
lines of communication with them open in the hope that an opportunity will
arise, possibly within the next couple of years.
The full version of the article published in TowerXchange Journal, Issue
22, p. 341, www.towerxchange.com
December 20, 2017, Moscow – ‘Ecosystem of infrastructure of Russian mobile networks – 2017’ Forum organized by Huawei Russia was held 20 December in Moscow. The Forum brought together mobile network operators, regulators and representatives of administrations, analysts, infrastructure companies and other organizations of the mobile industry.
The main theme of the Forum was cooperation and innovation for the development of communication services.
Service-Telecom made a presentation on the topic ‘Integrator of interests: the unifying role of the infrastructure operator in the creation of a new generation of communication networks’, and also participated in the discussion of the importance of maintaining a balance between the economic efficiency of networks and ensuring the quality of mobile services necessary for the implementation of the Russian digital economy.
September 25, 2017, Moscow – Service-Telecom LLC, a rapidly growing independent telecom tower infrastructure company, announced that it had completed the acquisition of 100% stake in Link Development LLC. Service-Telecom is one of the leaders of the tower infrastructure market in the Moscow region, and it is actively expanding its presence in the major regional markets. Link Development is a leading player in the Northwest region of Russia, focusing on Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
The combined company will manage more than 1 000 sites (mast structures and steel poles of different height) in the key markets of Russia. It enjoys a portfolio of diversified long-term contracts with all federal mobile network operators; average tenancy ratio of 1.8 is one of the highest in the industry.
Nikolay Berdin, Service-Telecom CEO, on the acquisition: ‘Being the first strategic acquisition of a tower company in the Russian telecom market, this transaction is a very important step in the implementation of Service-Telecom’s strategy to become a leader on a national scale in the Russian telecom market. We join efforts of our teams in the key markets to provide our clients and partners with high quality services, to offer more competitive proposition for the further construction of LTE networks, and to build foundation for future development of 5G networks. We will continue to improve our operational efficiency and will follow the growth strategy combining M&A activities with proactive organic regional expansion.‘
Service-Telecom was established in 2015 to provide site leasing and site development services to mobile network operators. In the end of 2Q 2017, the Company’s portfolio reached 500+ sites. Service-Telecom is currently present in the Moscow region, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnodar, Stavropol and the Urals (Sverdlovsk region).
About Link Development
Established in 2008, Link Development is the first Russian tower company that started building infrastructure for site sharing. The network of the company is developing and now reached the number of 350+ sites in Saint Petersburg, Leningrad, Pskov, Novgorod, Vologda and the Arkhangelsk region.
Advisors for the transaction
Aspring Capital, an independent Russian investment bank providing M&A,
fund raising and other corporate finance services, acted as a financial advisor
for the transaction. DLA Piper represented the interests of Service-Telecom in
this transaction and Dentons advised the seller.
only two years ago, Service-Telecom has major plans to shake up the Russian
tower industry Russia has huge untapped potential for tower infrastructure – it
has millions of mobile subscribers that are consuming data on platforms like
WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype at an increasingly rapid pace. Nikolay Berdin, CEO
of independent telecom tower infrastructure company Service-Telecom, explains
company is seeking to expand its operations from Moscow into the whole of Russia. He also outlines the reasons why MNOs are partnering with towercos and transferring ownership of their assets to third parties, and talks about how the Russian government is supporting the development of the towerco industry.
TowerXchange: Please introduce Service-Telecom and how the company has evolved.
Nikolay Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: We started operations in 2015 with the specific aim of becoming one of the leading national independent telecom tower infrastructure companies in Russia. We started from scratch with a structured business model, looked at international markets for reference, and came to the conclusion it was time to start with a BTS model in Russia. All four MNOs in Russia work with independent towercos to develop their networks.
top three Russian bank came on board as a strategic partner, and once we were
fully funded, we started construction. We secured contracts with Megafon and
Tele2, and then started on construction at the end 2015. Just over one year, we
have built 350 sites plus we have more than 100 in the pipeline under consruction,
and we expect to expand our portfolio via M&A. As the results, we aim to
have approximately 1,000 towers in place by the end of 1Q 2017.
referred to international experience, and we agree that there are two ways for
us to develop - organic growth through build to suit and inorganic growth
through M&A. In the company’s early days, we explored M&A options in
the Russian market and potential tower sales from VimpelCom, Tele2 and Megafon.
you know, Russia is a huge country, with over 20 million people in the Moscow
area alone. Moscow is our home region, but from the first year of our existence
we embarked on an ambitious regional expansion. We are talking about Russia
from St Petersburg to the Urals, focusing now on the hottest markets, which include
St Petersburg, Sochi and Krasnodar, the Volga region and the Urals. But we are
under no illusion that this will be easy – other Russian tower companies and
local incumbents are active in these regions. Our strategy is to grow into a
national player and develop a strong reputation in our market.
spite of this, we are very pleased with the progress we have made this year. At
the start of 2017, the MNOs started to announce their annual plans and place more
orders with us compared to last year.
terms of organic growth, we have earned credibility with MNOs in the Moscow
region. At the same time, we are looking at additional opportunities on the
markets like M&As and JVs and everything which can help us to grow further.
TowerXchange: Are you only focused on Russia?
Nikolay Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: We’ve only just started so it is way too early to say. We are definitely interested in serving the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), but our focus for now is on Russia and we see it as a very interesting market.
TowerXchange: Can you summarise your opinion of the current tower market in Russia? For example, the split between MNO-owned, MNO carve outs and independent towercos. How do these players all relate to one another currently?
Nikolay Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: We believe that the Russian market has huge potential for tower infrastructure; it may be one of the biggest markets for tower infrastructure in Europe. The country has more than 250 million subscribers and at present people are migrating to data at a huge pace – everyone uses Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook. Russia has a lot of big cities with populations of over a million people, each creating high levels of traffic and high requirements for data.
the quest to keep pace in the past MNOs wanted to do everything themselves,
concerned about keeping their market share, they have however now started to
consider independent towercos. Now, in a challenging economic environment they
still need to invest funds into network expansion. An opportunity to fund the
CAPEX with the help from independent towercos became a valid option to have.
are four MNOs in the Russian market. Tele2, is aggressively growing and
successfully entered the Moscow region a year ago. Vertical and Russian Towers
helped them to grow and establish a network in Moscow – a good example of how
the company successfully launched in the hottest city and largest market in the
country. There is the same level of demand from other large cities all over the
country. This was one of the reasons why St Petersburg was our first priority
after Moscow, and we plan to grow from there with MNOs constructing their
the case of MNO-owned towercos, these companies usually accumulate assets and
don’t play an active role in the tower segment. For example, Megafon has very
different ambitions to VimpelCom. VimpelCom set up a towerco for a carve-out;
rumours say that they’re quite close to the end of the process. Megafon is more
conservative, looking at market opportunities, and itis still not very active
in terms of selling their towers. They are probably preparing for a carve-out
or JV or something else. I expect they’ll be ready close to the middle of the
TowerXchange: In our conversations with Western European towercos, small cells and 5G rollout is a really hot topic. Can you give us any insight as to how close Russia is to 5G rollout and what the small cells/densification needs will be in Russia over the next few years?
Nikolay Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: I believe that all MNOs are deeply involved. Megafon and MTS have already announced trials with Huawei and Ericsson. Next year we have the World Cup and the trials will be introduced during the championship. In terms of network coverage, we don’t see much activity associated with this; it’s far too early for Russia. We asked several questions to technical heads, they have pilot projects, but are still in testing mode.
do believe that there is a lot of potential in LTE, and MNOs continue to build
these networks. They have started to introduce LTE Advanced in Moscow and a
number of cities across the country, which allows consumers to browse the
Internet at a speed from 150 to 450 Megabytes per second.
cells became a hot topic two years ago with Moscow having become the place
where were trialled. There is still a demand for macro sites of 40m plus, but
in towns it’s switched to small cells and steel poles 15m to 30m high. MNOs are
also testing indoor technologies and with independent towercos it’s developing
more rapidly. As a company, our focus mainly on small cells. We are putting in
street poles 20 to 30m high which can share two to three small cell tenants and
providing different solutions around that.
TowerXchange: What can you tell us about government initiatives in terms of Russian telecoms infrastructure? Is there anything in particular which is driving or inhibiting growth?
Berdin, CEO, Service-Telecom: Certain initiatives are likely to lead to the
growth of the towerco market, one of the most important one’s being the removal
of the requirement to obtain a building permit for certain types of telecom
towers. This has been introduced in a number of regions, including Moscow and
St. Petersburg and region and as such, you can now construct a tower in those areas
with fewer bureaucratic procedures. This really helped to develop the market in
the Moscow region. It’s not the case for every region in Russia though, some
regions are trying to do the same and others are lagging behind - we have also
heard of instances where MNOs have struggling with the speed of network
The full version of the article published in TowerXchange Europe
Dossier, p. 128, www.towerxchange.com
Nikolay has unique experience in implementation of large-scale international projects, working both in the field of property management and in corporate finance.
Yuri has more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications industry. He was the Head of Planning and Network Development for VimpelCom, and held the position of Technical Director Moscow region for MTS. He was in charge of roll-out, planing and optimization of 2G, 3G and 4G networks in Russia.
Dmitry has executed large-scale projects related to reorganization and consolidations of assets of major power companies of Russia.
- Master of Laws, RUDN
- State and Municipal Management, Volga Academy of Civil Service
Nikolay has more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications industry. Nikolay has held the positions of Technical director of the North-West and Moscow regions in VimpelCom.
- Saint-Petersburg State University
Konstantin has extensive experience in telecommunications industry. He has held the positions of Director of infrastructure maintenance departments for mobile network operators including Tele2.
- Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University
Vitaliy Bezlyudny has significant experience in the telecommunications industry. He participated in the implementation of major construction projects for MegaFon, MTS, Tele2 in Russia (3G / LTE network development).