Within MTS’ geographic footprint, Ukraine was the country where the impact of the recession was felt most directly during the year, with revenue declining by 4.9% year-on-year in local currency terms in 2009. As a result of cost control measures, CAPEX in Ukraine was reduced by more than 37% year-on-year in USD.
MTS’ initiatives and efforts to improve the customer experience had a positive effect on subscriber quality and the optimization of distribution throughout the year. In 2009, ARPU remained stable at 37 hryvna, while churn was reduced by 7.3 percentage points and MOU increased from 279 to 462 minutes, or 66% year-on-year.
Strong VAS Revenue Growth
During the year, MTS carried out numerous projects to develop and refine its VAS offerings. As a result, data content revenue increased by 14%, data traffic revenue rose by 98% and messaging revenue was up by 56%. In total, revenue from VAS increased by 34% to 1,598.4 million hryvna. VAS initiatives in 2009 included:
- Expansion of CDMA-450 data coverage to over 200 population centers, including all major cities and towns
- Launch of the MTS Connect Manager application for mobile Internet services, a tariff review and promotions that drove higher sales during the holiday season
- Tariff plans such as the MTS Infomania stimulated SMS usage, while the Super MTS Energy data package (10Mb of traffic per day for a monthly fee) drove increased data consumption rates
- Introduction of MTS Compass, a location-based service providing addresses of nearby restaurants, cinemas and ATMs directly to customer’s handsets
- New SMS games and contests such as the Valentine’s Day Love Is promotion
- Initiatives on the MTS WAP-portal such as chats with celebrities
- Branded content service such as MTS Click, with products including games, MP3s, pictures and more
- Promotion of BlackBerry® devices and tariffs, and new services specially tailored for smartphone users
- Creation and launch of mobile portal Muzon which offers music and downloads for both mobiles and PCs