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China Mobile goes to Russia

  • Published in InFocus
In December 2017, Russia registered a subsidiary of China Mobile's multi-service telecommunications operator, China Mobile International (Russia)

The new structure will provide services to companies from China working in Russia. Another source of revenue is the Europe-Asia communication channels. There will be a possibility to enter the B2C segment as an MVNO project.

The emergence of a new player on the Russian telecom market will increase competition, primarily among telecom operators representing the interests of the Chinese triplet - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. They are aimed at "their" corporate segment - Chinese companies and representative offices that conduct business in Russia.

Russian legal entities, registered China Telecom LLC and China Unicom (RUS) Operations LLC have already received a standard set of licenses for telematic communication services, communication services for the provision of communication channels and data transmission services, with the exception of data transmission services for the transmission of voice information.

According to the data from the Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media) registry, competitors of China Mobile have the opportunity to provide communication services based on the licenses received until at least 2022, but China Mobile International (Russia) has not yet received a single license.

In December last year, when the "daughter" of China Mobile was registered in Russia, the operator CMLink started in the UK - this is the MVNO project of China Mobile International Ltd (CMI). CMI is the international division of China Telecom, responsible for doing business outside of China. The virtual operator CMLink will provide communication services to Chinese citizens living and working in the UK, Chinese students (over 82,000) for training or internship, the Chinese diaspora and specialists from Chinese companies operating in the United Kingdom. Chinese tourists will also use the services of the new virtual operator, they hope in CMLink.

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China Mobile is the largest mobile operator in China with a subscriber base of 880 million people. The press release informs that CMLink subscribers can call China Mobile subscribers in China for free. MVNO project is realized thanks to cooperation with British Telecom and Everything Everywhere (EE) cellular operator, the subsidiary of BT, which provides its network resources as a host operator.

This year, China Mobile plans to implement MVNO projects in Canada, the US and Australia. China Mobile virtual mobile operator may appear in Russia, but this is planned for 2019, reports Comnews. The Russian Tele2 is ready to cooperate with China Mobile as an operator already experienced in implementing MVNO projects with various partners.