MTS-Uzbekistan shuts off 208 base stations

MTS-Uzbekistan shuts off 208 base stations

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, July 9 / Trend D. Azizov /

On Saturday Uzdunrobita, a subsidiary of the Russian Open Society Mobile Telesystems (MTS) in Uzbekistan, temporarily shut off some equipment as prescribed by the State Communication Inspection (SCI) of Uzbekistan, the company said on Monday.

Shutting off can result in 'some deterioration and disruptions in the provision of mobile services'. The company apologised to customers for the 'inconvenience'.

Last Saturday, the SCI also published a press release which identified new violations of Uzdunrobita.

In particular, SCI has brought to the attention of subscribers that the cellular service provider claims that 'fibre-optic communication lines laid through the conduit running between switching stations are operated without proper commissioning of the acceptance committee'.

SCI also identified an additional 208 illegally exploited cellular base stations with only temporary permits to operate and required them to stop, according to the press release.

As previously reported, in late June SCI sent Uzdunrobita a notice of possible revocation of a licence in connection with the illegal exploitation of equipment and subscriber complaints on the quality of communication. At the request of the SCI, Uzdunrobita on June 25 cut off 48 base stations.

The General Prosecutor's Office filed a criminal case against some of the operator's officials. During the unplanned check which has been conducted for three months, additional evidence of gross violations of law were found involving the unlawful cashing of large sums of money, laundering of income derived from criminal activity, exercise of an activity without a licence, tax evasion and other matters.

Uzdunrobita was formed in August 1991 and became the first cellular phone company in Uzbekistan. In August 2004, Uzdunrobita became part of the OJSC Mobile TeleSystems. Following the rebranding conducted in June 2006, the company provided services under the brand name MTS-Uzbekistan.

The revenue of MTS-Uzbekistan was $441 million in 2011, but decreased by 1.6 per cent compared to 2010. Capital expenditures amounted to 145.7 million compared to $157.9 million in 2010. Net income decreased by 47.8 per cent - to $58 million.

The subscriber base in Uzbekistan decreased by 6.7 per cent to 9.3 million subscribers and according to the company, reducing of the customer base is associated with a change in subscribers accounting policy.

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