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
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.
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.