In a move aimed at boosting its presence in the Moscow and North-West business-to-business (B2B) telecoms segment, Russian cellco MegaFon has announced the completion of its 100% purchase of GARS, a fixed line provider based in the capital, which its board agreed on in June. MegaFon’s CEO Ivan Tavrin said that the merger ‘forms an ideal combination of businesses allowing us to enhance our value proposition to MegaFon’s and GARS’ existing and future customers.’ The announcement did not give a value for the transaction.

Elsewhere, in apparent contrast to its strategy of building up its fixed network operations, MegaFon last week disclosed a plan to discontinue its fixed local telephony, fixed internet and data transmission services in the city of St Petersburg.

In its core mobile market, MegaFon has continued to expand 4G LTE network services, with the latest launch announced last week in the Volgograd region – where MegaFon has introduced LTE via refarmed GSMfrequencies acquired from regional operator SMARTS, which is gradually being sold off division-by-division to the ‘big three’ Russian cellcos MegaFon, MTS and Vimpelcom (Beeline). MegaFon’s subsidiary MVNO brand Yota will also utilise the new Volgograd LTE network section to expand its 4G coverage.