MegaFon has signed a deal with Uber as it looks to expand its pool of partners and work on new services with the taxi service.

The Russia-based operator said its customers would get “beneficial terms for their first trip with Uber”, without specifying further.

Customers who have signed up for MegaFon’s debit card, which launched last October, will also be able to save on rides, the company said.

Uber drivers, meanwhile, will get “a special cost-effective rate for data traffic when using the Uber app on a smartphone or tablet”.

MegaFon COO Anna Serebryanikova said: “Uber has changed our understanding of city transport, and today, the majority of people prefer to use apps to move around cities.

“Some 120,000 MegaFon clients a day use Uber on their mobile devices.

“I’m confident that MegaFon clients and Uber drivers will appreciate this partnership.”

The deal is part of the operator’s new strategy to create “an ecosystem of partnerships”, Serebryanikova added.

MegaFon unveiled a new three-year business strategy last month as it revealed operating income fell four percent to RUB29 billion on revenues that declined 0.9 percent to RUB74.5 billion in the first three months of the year.

This looks to build on MegaFon’s acquisition earlier this year of Mail.Ru – an internet company comprising an e-mail service, an internet portal, social networks, an instant messaging service and an online games business – as it looks to develop more digital offerings.

MegaFon said it also intends to explore “opportunities for partnership on joint developments based on big data analysis” with Uber.

Fraser Robinson, Uber’s Head of Business Development, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “This partnership will reach millions of MegaFon’s customers and will enhance our ability to reach new Uber riders for the first time thanks to our joint efforts.

“We appreciate the opportunity to cooperate in the area of aggregated data analysis, and we are confident that such projects will create new prospects for Uber’s further development in Russia.”

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