Russia’s Rostelecom is reportedly in talks with Sweden’s Tele2 regarding a merger of their Russian mobile businesses.
According to sources at Russian newspaper Kommersant, Rostelecom is planning to offer one of its mobile subsidiaries, SkyLink, plus a cash payment for a stake in Tele2’s Russian arm. Another option is the creation of an entirely new company combining all their assets in a joint venture in which Rostelecom and Tele2 would each own 50 percent.
Rostelecom was one of the four Russian operators that won LTE licences at auction last month; however Tele2 was unsuccessful – suggesting it could see a tie-up with Rostelecom as a way of keeping pace with its larger rivals in 4G.
According to the latest Wireless Intelligence data, Tele2 had an estimated 21.6 million mobile connections in Q2 2012, behind larger rivals MTS (69.6 million), MegaFon (62.1 million) and VimpelCom’s Beeline (55.7 million).
Rostelecom is predominantly a long-distance fixed-line and broadband provider. It had an estimated 12.9 million mobile connections in Q2, plus a further 1.3 million via SkyLink.