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ST. PETERSBURG, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian state-run telecom giant Rostelecom will present later on Thursday its Internet search engine Sputnik at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Vice President Alexei Basov said.
The project Sputnik.ru will be available in a trial mode for a while. “Sputnik is not a mere search engine, it’s a platform, founded on search technologies, with a plethora of socially-oriented services and widgets, including those for interconnection with state bodies,” Basov said.
Sputnik’s target audience will be Russian families looking in the Internet for an aide in their household chores.
“The Internet will expand exactly thanks to those people, who are not active users at present. They are not well acquainted with technologies, that is why their Internet use will most likely come down to tackling daily local tasks, in which Sputnik plans to lead,” Basov said.
Sputnik will monetize its audience after quitting the close testing mode thanks to placing advertisements and applying the transaction model.
“Sputnik will be tightly integrated into Rostelecom’s business. The Web site of Sputnik will demonstrate the whole multiplex of channels in real time on the basis of the rights owned by Rostelecom. We hope that Sputnik will be able to offer many products to the parent company,” Basov said.Finam analyst Leonid Delitsyn estimated the payback period for Rostelecom at 5-10 years. He attributed the mentioned length of the payback to the fact that the company will need a large volume of money to maintain the quality of the search engine and it will need to create IT infrastructure to provide services.
Sputnik may reach operating payoff if it occupies at least 1% of the content advertising market in Russia, Raiffeisenbank analyst Sergei Libin said. This market amounted to $1.5 billion in 2013 and will rise to $2 billion by 2015.
Basov also said that Sputnik will screen content to protect users from spam, pornography, extremism and other sorts of manipulation with search.
Rostelecom controls 74.99% in the project via its affiliate RTKomm.ru and a Cyprus-registered firm with the remaining held by minority shareholders.