MTS will deploy the network in all trains

3G for 3.8 thousand cars

Mobile operator MTS until the end of the first quarter of 2017 will be installed in all carriages of the Moscow metro is the special equipment for signal transmission — femtocells, which should allow its subscribers to call, send SMS and use mobile Internet in the subway tunnels. About installing equipment MTS has an agreement with a single operator Wi-Fi in the subway — the company “Maximalism”, is spoken in the message of MTS.

Commercial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. MTS monthly pays a fixed amount when the “Maximalism” of all specifications, providing the speed, continuity of communications, said the representative of MTS Dmitry Solodovnikov. The operator pays for the volume of traffic or number of subscribers.

In February 2016, “Maximalism” at the investment competition underground for 16.4 million RUB won the right to install equipment and cables for cell service of trains, reminds the representative of the company Ilya Grabowski. In total, metro operated 5,3 thousand cars, followed from purchasing documents. The partners will install femtocells Japanese manufacturer NEC 3.8 thousand cars, says Solodovnikov. The equipment itself belongs to the “Maximalism”.

The companies plan to develop in the tunnels 3G network: MTS will connect the femtocells to a working Wi-Fi network “Maximalism” and “deal” already mobile Internet to its subscribers. MTS has decided to bet on 3G, because among the subscribers of this technology is the most popular: it is supported by 100% of smartphones, said Director of MTS in the Moscow region Igor Egorov.

“Dead end project”

That “Maximalism” invited the operators to organize the network into the tunnels of the metro, in December 2015, wrote the newspaper “Vedomosti”. Now the company is currently in negotiation with several operators, confirmed RBC representative Ilya Grabowski. Tele2 has received a proposal of “Maximalism”, but “the possibility of implementing such a project will depend on the quality and stability of the proposed service,” says a representative of the operator Konstantin Prokshin. “Megaphone” for a long time develops the network in the metro and is considering offers from different providers, including from “Maximalism”, said the Director of network development branch in the capital of the operator Mikhail Karakulin. The representative of “VimpelCom” (brand “Beeline”), declined to comment.

The source of RBC, close to one of operators “the big four”, said that “the Megaphone” have considered the project unprofitable and already refused it. Tele2 is also “not very interesting” project, which agreed MTS, knows another source of RBC in the other company. A source in one of operators says that in addition to MTS, no one agreed to the proposal of “Maximalism”. From a financial point of view, the project is doubtful and is unlikely to be profitable, so operators have abandoned him, says the interlocutor of RBC. The contract of MTS and “Maximalism” does not imply restrictions on access to the subway cars of other operators, says another source familiar with the terms of the agreement.

According to him, is a “dead end project” and from a technical point of view: link will be unstable, he believes, for example, when moving from one car to another it will disappear. Another source RBC notes that “the quality of services in this case will be low, moreover, this will lead to the deterioration of the quality of the Wi-Fi in the metro”. Grabowski of “Maximalism” denies it: “Use cellular connection will be the same as outside the subway, for example, to start talking on the phone at the station and continue the conversation, going into the car”.

A compromise against monopoly

In July 2015, MTS launched a 3G network at stations, crossings and underground stretches with other technology — radiating cable that provides data transfer. This network works in tunnels only three metro lines — Sokolniki, Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya and the Ring, says Solodovnikov. After the installation of femtocells on other lines the connection will be covered, all underground trains, he said.

Still voice MTS was available at all metro stations, the report says the operator. For subscribers of “Megaphone” communication available “on almost all stations, also newly commissioned, said Karakulin. Tele2 clients can call and use the Internet on the 15 ground and 16 underground stations, says company spokesman Konstantin Prokshin. The representative of VimpelCom did not comment on how many stations cover the network operator.

In November 2013, the operators of the “big three” in a letter to the mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin complained of “the metro authorities” which under the guise of concern for passenger traffic in the metro increased the fares for the operators on the location of their equipment, wrote “Vedomosti”. In 2014 in the metro once again changed the management team, after which operators and metro guide reached a compromise, said the source of RBC in the Telecom market.

The terms on which the parties could agree, was not disclosed. According to the interlocutor of RBC, operators still received a kind permission to conduct underground in various works”. A compromise could be “the desire to create artificial competition to the current monopoly of “Maximalism”, the source said.