According to the analysts, in spring 2011 total amount of shopping area in the capital exceeded 6 million of square meters. Since then this figure has grown. To provide a shopping mall with influx of visitors, developers tend to offer their guests not only high-quality shopping, but lots of extra services and entertainments as well. Today while information technologies are developing rapidly, high-quality telecommunication services is coming to the fore.
The more shopping centers are built, the higher the competition between telecommunication companies is. Contracts for telecommunications are signed no later than the ground is broken. Otherwise, the carrier has to do with the second, the third or even the fifth role. To take top positions in a project, telecom-companies have to invest significant sums to cable installation and future infrastructure construction. In this case, carriers have unpublicized priority right to render telecommunication services in the certain shopping center.
“The period of the contract between the carrier and the tenant usually does not exceed three years. Such period allows carriers to return investments for commercial real estate connection and get the expected profit. The contract may be dissolved if the agreements of this contract are violated or if the owner’s property right is terminated”, — Michael Sergeev , Director for Corporate Communications (Gars Telecom) tells.
Speaking about commercial real estate, certainly, carriers are more attracted by business centers, especially “А” class ones. Shopping malls can be hardly compared to such projects due to low demands in telecommunications of shopping area tenants and low financial solvency of such clients. For example, Maxim Zhukov, Sales Director (Tascom), has described a joint project with GUM: “We are providing services to GUM, which is supposed to be one of the most popular shopping centers in Moscow. It is absolutely interesting and attractive object for our company. But this attraction is more likely to bear an image character. In practice the tenants and shopping center’s partners have no need in telecommunication services variety and are not ready to pay for the internet and phone more than 1000 rubles per month as well”.
Generally, carriers willingly collaborate with such shopping malls as “MEGA”, “Zolotoy Babylon”, “Atrium”, thinking more about goodwill and about being closer to their present customers, e.g. network retailers’ outlets.
“In ‘MEGA Khimki’ mall we provide internet access via Wi-Fi technology as for the tenants, as for the guests of the mall. For the private customers Wi-Fi connection is free. In our opinion, a developer has taken the wise step to increase the mall’s attraction for the visitors”, — Maxim Zhukov comments. Free network access can become a competitive advantage for shopping centers willing to draw custom. Usually visitors spend several hours on shopping and they need to check e-mail, messages in social networks, to send any information operatively. The new service will allow shopping center’s customers to save money on mobile internet traffic.
Moreover, shopping center’s tenants tell that some carriers found VIP-clubs for clients’ loyalty. "Our shops in Moscow and regional shopping centers are connected to a single carrier. And this carrier for the third time is taking the Head of our company to different VIP-trainings and round tables held in 5-star hotels and SPA-resorts in Turkey, Cyprus and Bali",- Director for business development of youth clothes network tells (he asked to be kept incognito).
In their turn, carriers confess that they keep a finger on a market’s pulse. “We are watching the market and update our business-models for commercial real estate. As the new off-line areas are realized and the tenants and owners are attracted, we try to provide them with a full range of up-to-date integrated telecommunication services. In terms of competition, we have decided to provide local and long-distance phone services, data transmission, internet access, VPN organization and SLA simultaneously. Also our clients can use smart-capacity phone services and phone services based on convergence of fix and mobile communications (FMC)”, — Alexander Kuzlyaev, Head of Department for National Developers collaboration (MTS) reports.
Anyway, as the shopping segment is blossoming in Russia and new malls are being opened in Moscow and Regions, carriers will always earn a living.