No matter if you are a Russian citizen or a tourist you will be using your mobile phone once you are here. And there might be a situation once you need port your number from one network provider to another. It will be useful for you to read until the end if you are going to use mobile communication in Russia. Continue reading
Mobile number portability, extremely nice feature that usually pushed by governments to force communication providers to allow their user to keep numbers while moving to another operator. Operators hate it with furious anger, but this is what the deservers in term of income and greediness they live with.
Russia possibly will be last country who will adopt this regulation in future. Somebody says January 2014. The operators lobbies were postponing it since 2006 and do this quite successfully. They were trying to appellate with various technical problems, with explanations that we customers do not need MNP in Russia, that this service will cost us a fortune. But thankfully to president Putin this will be at last resolved.
To describe how I hate mobile operators around the world is to say nothing. For instance for GSM signal they occupied the most “tasty” frequencies 850/900/1800/1900 MHZ, means ordinary people cannot use them, and more of that will be heavily punished for destructing the work of this cellular companies, again, due the pushed laws made by their lobbies in government.
This MNP event will make them to work much harder, try to low their profit and invest into quality of the GSM / 3g service. Once you don’t like the service, you can always move to another operator.
What is more interesting the anti-monopoly agency (FAS) in Russia works quite effectively, means operators will have no ability to agree for the prices rising, they have only way, to honestly raise the quality of service.
I wish more such regulations existing in this monetary world, who wish only to invest and do nothing, making the money to produce the money. So we are waiting for January 2014 to see that happened.
I’ve started to use TELE2 operator in February 2012. The reason was the price. I’ve connected it in Kaluga region and with the nice tariff of 1.5 RUR perm minute which counted by seconds on EVERY destination in Russian federation. While I was for quite a while in this region inside the big city everything looks almost marvelous. Problems started when started to leave outside the city from time to time. Quality of sound drops dramatically or more usually signal disappears completely. Another wonderful story is roaming. Due to the lack of own cell stations it appeared to be extremely expensive – about 10 RUR per minute, and in the majority places in the country outside of big cities you’ll be on roaming.
After travelling several months around the country I returned back to the place where I’ve initially obtained this TELE2 sim. It appeared that almost half population of this city connected to this operator and as a result the quality of sound drop simultaneously with signal unavailability.
The final this which shot me completely was the procedure of changing tariff. Keep in mind that there is no call center helpline, neither paid premium nor free one. Yes you can register on the web and manage your GSM profile on-line, but one particular thing was not possible for me, I could not change the tariff. So I visited their office and was totally surprised that the tariff I got is some kind “special” and I cannot change it. The “solution” was suggested: to get a new sim and chose necessary tarrif, and… you cannot save the current number and transfer it (I can’t believe it! Inside one network).
So if you are in Russia, in large city and you plan to stay there for a long time and to make frequent call around all Russia, this operator is for you, in all other cases run away from TELE2, there is always an option from the main three operator MTS, BEELINE, MEGAFON.
Beeline is the trademark of the second largest cell-phone operator in Russian Federation, VimpelCom. Its headquarters are located in Moscow.
As of January 2005 Beeline has more than 25 million subscribers in 74 of 89 Russian regions, and in Kazakhstan, and less than 1% market share short of becoming the leader of the Russian cellular market in terms of subscriber base. Its revenue, profits and revenue per subscriber (ARPU) figures are slightly lower that competitor’s, Mobile TeleSystems’s, while being gradually improving in latest years.
Mobile TeleSystems or MTS is the largest mobile operator in Russia and CIS with over 89.64 million subscribers as of April 30, 2008.
Having started in the Moscow license zone in 1994, МТS in 1997 received licenses for further areas, and began expansion, later entering other countries of the CIS. On October 31 2008, Vodafone announced a partnership deal with MTS, whereby Vodafone services will be available to MTS subscribers; some form of co-branding will follow, and both companies have noted the potential for more efficient purchasing.
The MTS wireless network operates using the GSM standard. It currently holds licences to provide mobile services in 87 out of 89 regions in Russia and the entire territories of Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.MTS is currently the biggest mobile operator in Central and Eastern Europe.