The number of mobile phone subscribers in Russia rose by 1.25 million in January to reach 19.28 million. The highest growth was achieved by VimpelCom, which added over 500,000 new subscribers, closely followed by MTS with about 450,000 new subscribers. Market penetration reached 13.4% of the population. Penetration is highest in the Moscow area, where over 50% of people have a mobile phone.
Analysts at J'son & Partners and Sotovik, Moscow-based firms studying the mobile phone market, suggest that growth has been achieved thanks to expansion of networks and coverage, as well as price reductions and marketing initiatives by the country's three main operators: MTS, VimpelCom, and MegaFon.