Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), one of Russia’s top three mobile operators, intends to resume its operations in Turkmenistan using the funds of its subsidiary, Barash Communications Technologies, MTS Vice-President Oleg Raspopov said on Monday.
“We’ll be able to launch the operations through the company’s own funds on its accounts without any additional capital expenditures,” he said.
MTS needs time to prepare for a restart of its work in the Central Asian republic and the mobile operator expects this launch to occur sooner than in the three to four months previously mentioned by Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the owner of AFK Sistema, a core shareholder of MTS, Raspopov said.
MTS operated on the Turkmen mobile communications market until December 2010 and had a subscriber base of 2.3 million customers.
In late 2010, the Turkmen government suspended the license of Barash Communications Technologies for one month and recalled it indefinitely after that, motivating its decision by the expiry of the five-year contract with MTS, under which the Russian mobile operator remitted part of its revenues to the local budget.
In May 2012, AFK Sistema managed to agree with the Turkmen government on the restart of its operations in the country.