MTS, Largest Russian Wireless Carrier, Lands iPhone Deal

by , 1:10 PM EDT, September 5th, 2008

MTS, Russia's largest mobile phone operator, has announced that they will carry the Apple iPhone, according to the Associated Press on Friday. Previously, Vimpelcom and Megafon in Russia made similar announcements.

The company did not provide any additional details or say when deliveries would start.

Previously, iPO reported that MegaFon and VimpelCom said that they had also landed deals to offer the iPhone 3G in Russia.

The iPhone is very popular in Russia, and there are an estimated half million iPhone 2Gs that made their way into the country and were unlocked. The AP reported that analysts believe Apple wanted all three carriers to obtain good exposure in the market. However, it's also possible that Apple chose to enlist the smaller carriers first in order to obtain bargaining leverage with MTS.

A reporter with the Troika Dialog said that it's unlikely the carriers will subsidize the iPhone.