MTS is backing technology from Nokia to deliver a range of operational improvements as well as new products and services for customers.

The Russia-based operator said a new partnership agreement, which builds on a 5G-focused deal the two companies signed last May, would bring together its own resources with “competencies” from NVision Group, an SI and IT solution provider that it owns, and technology from Nokia.

The two companies said they planned to look at developing new products and services for retail and enterprise clients in the areas of IoT, cloud, digital medicine, e-commerce, augmented and virtual reality, as well as convergent 5G networks.

The partnership will also look to modernise MTS’ internal systems by using the Finland-based vendor’s virtual and software-defined network solutions, common customer service platform, IMS platform, transport networks and software development.

Valery Shorzhin, Vice President, Procurement and Administration, MTS, said: "Our strategic cooperation with Nokia has reached a new level.

“Besides purchasing off-the-shelf products and testing 5G technologies of our partner, we are ready to involve professional skills of numerous IT specialists of MTS and our subsidiary NVision Group in developing, enhancing and implementing Nokia's unique technologies.

"MTS gradually migrates from the classical telecom operator model towards a multi-profile IT-company focused on offering a wide range of innovative digital services for various purposes.

“I am sure that joint efforts of our companies will accelerate time-to-market for numerous innovative solutions which will be widely used in 5G networks."

[Read more: Look beyond telecom services, prepare to be CEOs, says MTS Chief Marketing Officer]

MTS saw profits dip 15.8 percent to RUB12.5 billion on revenues that fell 1.1 percent to RUB104.7 billion in the first three months of the year.

In March, the company launched a new cloud services for businesses based on VMware tech.

Demetrio Russo, Vice-President, Head of Market Unit East Europe, Nokia, said: “Signing of this partnership agreement is an important milestone in the cooperation between our companies enabling us to address with even more efficiency the ambitious objectives of the MTS Group in its way to the digitalisation transformation.”

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