MTS launches operations in Mumbai

MTS launches operations in Mumbai

Mumbai: Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL), which operates under the MTS brand, on Wednesday launched mobile telephony services in Mumbai. The city already has nine wireless operators in a fully penetrated market with a teledensity of 120-130%, the country’s highest.

To lure subscribers from its rivals, MTS is offering CDMA (code division multiple access) services at 1 paisa for a two-second billing unit. The tariff is valid for calls made across networks within the Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa regions.

SSTL is a 74:26 joint venture between Sistema of Russia and Shyam group of India.

Analysts are not convinced about the financial viability of new telecom operators entering Mumbai. “Not only Mumbai, the whole urban mobile market in the country is near saturation, so it is difficult to see how a new player will be able to break through," said a telecom analyst with a domestic brokerage. He declined to be named. .

However, Vsevolod Rozanov, SSTL president and chief executive, said the firm would maintain its forecast of reaching positive Ebidta (earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortization) in three years.

MTS is also charging the same rates for long-distance domestic calls from Mumbai to its network in other telecom circles. The company, which began operations in April 2008, operates in seven other circles, and has licences for 22 circles in all.