MOSCOW, February 21, 4:14 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian government will invest more than 270 billion roubles in the national telecom operator Rostelecom until 2018, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
“Investments this year will amount to 57 billion roubles, excluding investment in mobile operations. The overall sum to be committed until 2018 will exceed 270 billion roubles,” Medvedev said, adding that the programme for the development of the company in the next four years had been adopted in December 2013.
“Rostelecom has to go a long way to turn from a traditional fixed network operator to a multi-provider of different telecom services,” he added.
Speaking of the company’s tasks and objectives, the prime minister said they were connected with public programmes, including the provision of public services to the population and support for the e-government. “The company will have to continue to perform this social function,” Medvedev said.
Among priority tasks for the company he named “eliminating digital inequality… providing access to broadband Internet services, and bringing modern services to the absolute majority of towns, including small owns.”
However, he believes that this should be done gradually, “taking into account the economic logic.”
“By 2018, broadband access should be available to 80 percent of households,” Medvedev said, adding that only a half of them had such services now.
Rostelecom is Russia’s largest national telecommunications operator with presence in all Russian regions. The Group is a universal operator and undisputable leader of broadband and pay-TV markets in Russia with over 9 million fixed-line broadband subscribers and over 6 million pay-TV subscribers. As Rostelecom develops its mobile data networks, its position as a major mobile operator is growing with over 13 million currently subscribed to Rostelecom’s mobile voice services. The Company currently has approximately 28 million local fixed-line voice subscribers and it is the leader in the corporate and government services segment. The Group is also an important innovator that provides solutions in the field of medicine, E-Government, cloud computing and education.
Rostelecom was assigned a ‘BBB-‘ and ‘BB+’ international credit ratings by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s respectively, both with a ‘Stable’ outlook. The Group generated 321 billion roubles of consolidated revenues and 34.5 billion roubles of net income in 2012.