Cell April in Moscow was not in the hot spring. In principle there is nothing surprising in all long been accustomed to that time of year in the business of mobile communication does not correlate with the natural. Winter preliminary bombardment led to another round of price wars in the spring, then probably, we should expect a summer hibernation. So, what brought the month of April to operators, dealers and customers. According to “Mobile Research Group” big three plug in Moscow 290’979 subscribers. Leadership in the hands of the MTS, the general pattern of connections is as follows:

For more than a year, “Megaphone” is among the laggards, which is logical, the explosive growth in subscribers in the Moscow market of cellular communication in the past. Despite consistently growing subscriber base, the operator was unable to break the market and violate well-established tradition, although attempts have been and to some extent continues. One can think of free incoming for ~ $ 24 ab. Boards and SMS for one penny. These figures the city has never seen. Meanwhile, Vimpelcom and Mobile TeleSystems, like before the advent of the North-West stranger, share a virtually all new connections. At the end of April Moscow is distributed in the following proportions:

Relatively modest success of “Megaphone” is the obvious explanation. First of all, on hearing (and on the phone screen) disappointing about the weak, to say the network coverage. On the Moscow region and surrounding areas we are not even coming: summer residents and tourists not just to think about the choice of the operator. The level of services in Moscow, especially in places far from perfect. Forgotten subscribers of Beeline and MTS issues, such as: the need to go to the window or go outside when talking on the phone — users of “Megaphone” are familiar. Your humble servant among them “martyrs.” And yet, it should be noted, the changes are obvious. No need for special test arrangements, the mobile people can easily notice an improvement. On various “hot lines” with the experts of the company or in Internet forums less and less flash messages disgruntled service area. In any case, before the market storozhilov Megafon far.

Whatever it was, reports the installation of all new and new base stations affect the choice of subscriber is much smaller than our own experience and opinions of friends. Everything else, are the difficulties associated with the lack of direct numbers. They finally went on sale, but could still hear the echoes of the problem, not everyone had the opportunity to constantly connect nazvanivat a subscription service and interest “is finally direct numbers or not.” It is also bound to affect the outcome of the month, but rather only indirectly, because after two-month recess in early April, the connection resumed direct dialing (not without the participation of the Central Telegraph).

Anyway, Megafon is actively fighting for a place in the Moscow sun. In April the company had introduced several initiatives that, according to company employees, should ultimately enhance customer loyalty in relation to its operator. So, owners of the phone connected on any of the tariff series “Welcome” will receive 10% discount when removing subscription fees, if their numbers over the past two months have not been blocked for non-payment. This proposal will continue in the future. How significant discount, judge for yourself.Only remind that the minimum fee of tariffs in this series is $ 19 (excluding taxes). Good news is not spared and users “GSMLite”. They got the chance before the end of 2003 to send SMS price for as low as 1 cent (excluding taxes). The adoption of such radical measures against the already popular services, should encourage the influx of users from the camp of “BI +” and “Jeans” and raise to new heights text messaging. Habit — a great power: the return of prices to their previous level is not reducing the number of outgoing SMS proportional increase their value. At one time the “Beeline” offers this service at no charge, and after the payment of outgoing SMS, many subscribers in the habit could not refuse this method of communication. This is a historical fact could not contribute to the popularity of SMS today.

Recently, growing louder and clearer sound has become a problem dialing in the federal numbers MegaFon MGTS with phones. Overload occurred mainly due to the popularity of the same tariff “Welcome”. The most common scheme calls MGTS-> Megaphone (for tariffs, “Admission”) has forced the company to reflect an increase in the trunk in that direction. In mid-April were significantly enlarged “butt” between switching centers “MegaFon” and the network of Rostelecom. The increase was 40%, which immediately affected the quality proring through “8”. Also increase the throughput capacity of trunk lines between MegaFon and network to VimpelCom. The technical side of the project involves interconnection network through E1. During scheduled work to expand the network Megafon to switching center is a special module to increase the capacity of exchange with the network of “Beeline” to STM-1 level.

Moscow Megafon has increased the number of fixed service providers, with whom he collaborated on the organization of services to fixed-mobile communications (Fixed-Mobile Convergence, FMC), to three, overtaking, thus pioneering in this market VimpelCom. Sonic Duo currently provides service to FMC in conjunction with Moscow companies, like “Central Telegraph”, Globe Telecom and Gars Telecom. Early adopter FMC services in Russia, became the “Archive”. At the present time, the operator offers this service in conjunction with Equant, “" Golden Telecom “and” Combellga. The “Archive” as did “Megaphone”, is in talks with several companies to expand this service. Obviously, FMC at the moment can not be a separate revenue items of the operator. Question on demand of the market. On the one hand, interest FMC can only fairly large and demanding customers, namely large customers and generate a significant share of revenue to operators, on the other — hardly the presence of FMC services in a particular company can be an important criterion for selection of the operator. As an additional service, FMC may well be attractive.

Contribute to the spring revival of the market, and Moscow made a beeline. With a claim to the title “hit of the season was launched on a new tariff plan” BI + Hit. " Obviously, this proposal has no analogues on the market and likely to appeal to subscribers who receive calls from users of other metropolitan cellular networks (except for “Sonnet”). Traditionally, prepaid “BI +” has no subscription fee, with the contracted rates of the “Beeline” virtually no difference. The only thing that can afflict a small layer of subscribers — the lack of service “GPRS-Internet” to “BI +”. It is hoped that the company has taken technical measures to remedy the situation, especially because the concept of GPRS-roaming increasingly sounds like the mouth of the operators and their subscribers. VimpelCom has launched a test operation of GPRS-roaming service between the enlarged regions where the company’s network to support this technology. The company was the last operator of the “Big Three” running the service, GPRS-roaming services. However, unlike its competitors, the operator began to provide service is not between the two regions (Moscow and St. Petersburg Megafon, Kuban-Novosibirsk MTS), and throughout its network that has GPRS.International GPRS-roaming is possible in 20 countries, including in the United States.

After high-profile speech the mayor of the capital of unsatisfactory quality of the Moscow cellular companies, and perhaps without any connection with this event, the operators were preoccupied thereby improving the quality. Vimpelcom after slowly but surely gaining momentum Megafon expanded channel capacity between its switching centers and Rostelekomovskim. The seemingly eternal problem of dial-up through “8”-ku to federal numbers “Beeline” solved. Reports on improving the quality of the service sound more and more loudly. So, in April, VimpelCom has built 62 base stations in the Moscow region, preparations for the summer season comes without stopping.

The good news for subscribers are roaming capabilities BI +. VimpelCom launched a system of on-line tariffs for intranet roaming for its subscribers that are connected to the family of tariffs, “Bee” + “. Tellingly, the service intranet roaming connects automatically, regardless of the number of funds in the account number. At first there was some confusion. It should be clearly separated, and the intra-national roaming, because all the innovations are solely intranet. The company is especially proud of the fact that VimpelCom was the fourth operator in the world to offer its subscribers on-line billing. Before him, such a mechanism put in place only to O2, Vodafon and Eurotel.On-line billing allows more precise control of its balance sheet in a “high spending”, we are talking about roaming. In principle, such a service one way or another move all the operators in their path is one, but the big problem. All regional offices have become part of a federal operator, not in words but in deeds. First of all, it is a single billing system, which actually allow tariff calls to subscribers in real time, regardless of its location in the federal network. According to the author, the largest operator in Russia, Mobile Telesystems will not be able to offer its customers a similar service long enough period of time.

Clients served by the credit system, rejoice the fact that now they will be refunded the deposit, made when connecting. But this will only happen if the subscriber is within 9 months time to pay their bills. One of the few occasions when, finally, users were divided into respectable and debtors. This kind of promotion will increase the loyalty of the first and second order payments.

MTS in April turned out to be a weak generator of news. Pompously launching a range of tariff plans, the company could not offer anything new to the subscriber. Recent fares only slightly different from the old, technological innovation or expansion of existing services is not observed. Regional news value and by volume exceeds the capital, where customers are actively offered referral services and SMS-mailing. According to the company’s employees, the successful development project is going through “Jeans”. Market analysts can never be defined, called “Jeans” prepaid’om or not, however, is new to MTC, as no monthly fees and free incoming with the “Beeline” suggest that open a third front in the war prepaid’ov . Now all the big three operators have in their arsenal that has long won popularity in the international arena type tariffs.

Overall, MTS confidently holds the position of the operator with a measured quality marketing policies. Any improvements are also tightened, as pompous. Creates a strong illusion of deliberation of each step, the truth is not always adequately perceived by the modern subscriber accustomed to vigorous activity on the cellular operators arena.

As a result,
Summing up, we would like to assess the situation on the Moscow market as always life-asserting. Donor region-building continues to gain momentum. Significant slowdown of growth of subscribers is not observed.It can be assumed that the immediate events will be input Mobile Telesystems for commercial use GPRS (just in time for the completion of the material the operator to do this) and the appearance of a new operator of discount on calls from the field (last year by 27% reduces the cost of Beeline), cottage season can be considered open.