Mobile Communication

Having a mobile phone will be helpful, since there are no public phones in St. Petersburg any more. Pre-paid cards for mobile phones are available at any shop/kiosk, which sells mobile phones and services. It is worthwhile to check the services and fees, as they may vary with each operator.

There are three nationwide mobile phone service providers who possess 2G and 3G licenses in every region of Russia

MTS provides mobile phone service, using 2G GSM technology, and initiated 3G service, using W-CDMA technology. It also provides fixed broadband services and fixed-line telephony services. s of June 2012, MTS was the biggest mobile operator in Russia in terms of subscriber base with 69.6 mln subscribers (31% market share). It also had 35,7 mln subscribers in several CIS-countries, including Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Belarus.

Beeline (OJSC VimpelCom) provides mobile services under Beeline brand, using 2G GSM and 3G (W-CDMA) technologies. In April 2011, VimpelCom turned into a global carrier operating in roughly 20 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Italy (Wind), Algeria (Djezzy), CIS countries and other. As of June 2012 it had 55.7 mln subscribers in Russia (24% market share in terms of subscribers) and over 209 mln subscribers worldwide.

MegaFon provides 2G (GSM) and 3G (W-CDMA) mobile phone services. In April 2012 MegaFon was the first of Big-3 operators to launch 4G services. As of June 2012, MegaFon had 55.7 mln subscribers in Russia (27% market share). Unlike MTS and VimpelCom, Megafon has neither developed operations outside Russia nor has focused on residential broadband.