And so it begins. 

Tomorrow when Shyam Sistema announces the launch of the MTS brand in India, and of services in Tamil Nadu, it will become the first of the new telecom operators to roll out services in India. It is expected that the MTS brand will also replace Rainbow.


The website for MTS India is already live, and it appears that the company plans to launch services in  Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. At present, the company only operates in Rajasthan, and has a base of 498,535 connections. Shyam Sistema added only 63,886 connections in February 2009, of a total addition of 13.44 million subscribers for the industry. Hopefully, the coming months, with the addition of new circles and deployment of marketing spends, will help the operator improve its performance.

Shyam Sistema Shareholding; Russian Government May Pick Up 20%

Russian conglomerate Sistema currently owns 73.71 percent in Shyam Sistema, 2.5 percent is with the public, and the balance is with the Shyam Grou, Vsevolod Rozanov, President & CEO of the company had told Telecom Live in an interview (pdf) in December. Last week, multiple publications reported that the Russian government may pick up 20% stake in Shyam-Sistema. MTS intends to spend $5.5 Billion in Shyam Sistema over the next 5 years, adding 2-3 circles every quarter. They’ve set themselves a target of 7-8% subscriber share in the next 5 years. 

Shyam Sistema, previously Shyam Telelink, alongwith telecom operators Unitech Wireless, Swan Telecom, S Tel, Loop Telecom and Datacom Solutions were all given licenses to launch mobile services in India on the 28th of January 2008. Shyam Sistema received licenses for 22 circles, and already was operating CDMA services in Rajasthan. The Indian telecom market comprises of 23 telecom circles.