Russian mobile users up 3.3% in 2021, amid slowdown in broadband

Russia’s active mobile subscriber base totaled 259 million in 2021, up by 3.3 percent from the year before but slightly off from the 260 million recorded at the end of 2019, said a study.

According the study by TMT Consulting, the mobile market penetration totaled 178 percent, while the study said that “The main driver of growth this year was the recovery of the mobile segment after the impact of the coronavirus. Revenues increased 4.4% versus 0.9% last year.”

TMT said: “The key factor in the development of the market for the coming years is the tariff policy of operators. Until now, a periodic revision of commercial terms has been observed only in certain segments of the Pay-TV and mobile services market. It can be expected that the revision of tariffs for basic communication services will become more common practice.”

In parallel, there is a slowdown in areas such as fixed broadband and pay-TV. Broadband penetration in 2021 was 61 percent, and the growth of the subscriber base was only 0.8 percent. In the Pay TV segment, growth has practically stopped with the number of subscribers increasing by only 0.5 percent, amounting to 46.4 million.

According to Statista, the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions in Russia in 2020 was at 238.73 million.

It is worth mentioning that among the four major mobile network operators in Russia, only MTS has started deploying the 5G technology, though only in a limited capacity.

As such, the company launched the fifth generation technology in 14 popular public places in Moscow during March 2021. Megafon, Beeline, and Tele2 were still testing 5G in the country, however, Megafon and Tele2 offered 5G to their customers using roaming services abroad. Also, Tele2 launched first public 5G network in Sweden and tested its 5G network in Kazakhstan.

The Republic of Crimea moved to the Russian telephone codes +7 978 for mobile phones and +7 365 for landlines after the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, while the city of Sevastopol switched to the codes +7 978 for mobile phones and +7 869 for landlines since 2015.