Reiman Sees 3G in 10 Cities Next Year

Mobile TeleSystems and competing Russian mobile phone companies will be able to offer fast wireless services in Moscow next year as it becomes possible to obtain frequencies, IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman said Monday.

Third-generation services that allow video calls and mobile television will be available in 10 Russian cities, including Moscow, next year, Reiman told reporters.

MTS and rival VimpelCom have said they will start offering 3G services in some cities next year. The timing for offering such services in Moscow had been left open as the companies had difficulty getting frequencies from the military.

"We are in talks with the military," Reiman said. "There are real possibilities to free up frequencies."

MTS, VimpelCom and MegaFon won government licenses in April to offer 3G services. They will spend $15 billion on development by 2012, half of that on 3G, MTS said in March.