MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian telephone company is creating a mobile phone operator marketed toward meeting demand from Central Asian migrants, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Vedomosti business daily cited Interregional Transit Telecom director Yevgeny Vasilyev as saying the company would launch the brand in April.
The venture appears to reflect a rare recognition of market potential among the large number of migrant laborers in Russia. People from former Soviet nations and Russia’s North Caucasus region have long been target of hostility in the country’s major cities over perceptions that they deprive local residents of employment.
Interregional Transit Telecom says the yet-to-be-named mobile communication operator will offer cheap rates to call abroad and Internet access.
It will not have its own frequency and infrastructure but will piggyback on another operator’s data transmission equipment. Vedomosti quoted unnamed sources as identifying Russian mobile giant MTS as the likely host.
Interregional Transit Telecom said it expects to attract 100,000 subscribers to the new operator in the first year of operations.