50 mln mobile subscriptions in Russia in 2005

The mobile services market in Russia exploded in 2005 with the number of subscriptions shooting up by more than 50 mln in 2005, bringing penetration to 87%. According to IDC, Russians racked up more than 155 bln call minutes and sent more than 15 bln text messages. Mobile penetration in the country’s two largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, has already exceeded 100%, with the level of penetration decreasing as one moves east across the nation or into rural areas. Total spending on mobile services rose to $9.5 bln in 2005, a number significantly lower than the 2005 total for Germany, Italy, the UK, or France, the largest markets in Western Europe.