11:51 GMT +325 September 2018
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    Russian mobile giant expands into Central Asia

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    Moscow, June 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's largest mobile operator, MTS, has expanded into Central Asia by acquiring a 51% stake in U.S. company Barash Communications Technologies Inc. (BCTI), which has a subsidiary operating in Turkmenistan.

    MTS promised to buy the remainder of the stock within the next eight months, provided that "certain conditions are met," a spokesperson for MTS said. The purchase price of the remaining 49% in BCTI will depend on the company's financial and operational performance, but it is unlikely to exceed $26.95 million, the spokesperson said.

    The BCTI subsidiary running operations in Turkmenistan is leading that country's mobile market, with an estimated market share of 97%, or more than 59,000 subscribers at the beginning of June. The company is licensed to provide GSM-900/1800 and AMPS services across the nation of 6.6 million.

    Less than 1% of Turkmenistan's population use mobile phones, and only 6% have landlines.

    BCTI's 2004 earnings aggregated $12 billion, with an average monthly revenue per subscriber (ARPU) at $31.

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