MTS will adopt the Vodafone brand in Ukraine as part of an extended partnership to develop the country's mobile services market.

Russia-based MTS will launch 3G services under the Vodafone brand as well as put its retail outlets and dealerships under the Vodafone banner. Meanwhile, Vodafone will introduce new data services to the Ukrainian mobile market, including bundled offers, international calling and roaming packages.

The UK-based telco will help MTS Ukraine deploy a 3G network in the country and will advise MTS on the operation, optimisation and deployment of new, “high-quality” 3G services, including music and gaming applications.

Vodafone said the new 3G network would allow the brand to launch “in a strong position” in Ukraine, while Oleg Prozhyvalsky, General Director of MTS Ukraine, called the agreement “the most significant event in the market over recent years”.

The deal builds on a partnership between the companies dating back to 2008, under which Vodafone has provided MTS Ukraine with access to products and services for both the consumer and enterprise markets.

MTS has over 20 million customers in Ukraine, which has proved a particularly troublesome market for the operator as the it continues to be rocked by macroeconomic hardships.

Sales in the country fell six percent in the most recent quarter. This performance was blamed for net profits falling by a fifth to RUB 17 billion (€235 million).

Vasyl Latsanych, MTS Vice President for Marketing, said: “Since MTS and Vodafone began our partnership, MTS has drawn on Vodafone’s support for a number of key strategic initiatives, including the introduction of data services throughout our markets.

“Now, with the emergence of 3G, is [the] right time to deepen our partnership with Vodafone to take advantage of growth opportunities in the Ukrainian telecommunications market.”

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