Universal Mobile Systems, a joint venture between MTS and the Republic of Uzbekistan, has commercially launched a mobile network throughout Uzbekistan. 

UMS began selling SIM cards in 250 outlets across the country on Monday. The company is offering services on 2G/3G network to both retail and enterprise customers. 

The launch comes two years after MTS’ former Uzbek subsidiary was forced to close when the Tashkent Criminal Court confiscated its assets over alleged illegal activity, including unpaid tax receipts. 

MTS challenged the ruling as four of its managers were arrested. However, the two parties signed a settlement agreement in July this year to enable MTS to resume operations in the country.

UMS was formally established in September, with MTS holding 50.01 percent of the new entity.

It is expected to launch an LTE network in due course.

Andrei Smelkov, MTS Vice President for Foreign Subsidiaries, commented: “We are pleased to announce the launch of a new mobile provider in Uzbekistan established by MTS and our partner, the State Committee for Communications, Development of Information Systems and Telecommunications Technologies of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

“The new entity is fully equipped to provide high-quality voice and mobile data services due to its ample capacity and coverage of roughly 90 percent of the territory of Uzbekistan.”

Last week, MTS upped its 2014 revenue guidance as it reported rising sales in the third quarter.

Earlier this month, the operator announced plans to expand into the satellite TV space in a bid to cement its leading position in the Russian TV market.

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