USM is a major investor in the telecoms industry. The group wholly owns PJSC MegaFon, a pan-Russian provider of digital opportunities.
MegaFon is a national provider of digital opportunities, operating in all segments of Russia’s telecommunications market with 75.3 million subscribers in the country. The company offers mobile and fixed-line services, mobile and broadband Internet, digital TV and OTT services, innovative digital products and services across information and communication technologies (ICT), the Internet of Things, Big Data analytics and processing, cloud solutions, cyber security, financial services, digital advertising and marketing, e-commerce, and converged IT solutions in system integration. MegaFon has an extensive retail network of more than 4,000 outlets under its own brand throughout Russia.
The company has introduced a range of innovative services. It became the first carrier in Russia to cover all regions of the country. The company has also pioneered the launch of 3G and 4G/LTE services. Currently, MegaFon offers LTE services across 83 Russian federal regions, covering 80% of the country's population. In 2014, MegaFon was the first to launch an LTE Advanced network, which at the time became the fastest commercial mobile network in the world. MegaFon's LTE-A services are currently available in 47 Russian regions allowing customer access to record mobile internet speeds of up to 450 Mbps. In 2019, the company received the Ookla Speedtest Award for the operator with the fastest mobile network speed in Russia for the third year running.
MegaFon is the unrivalled leader in Russia by number of base stations, with over 240,000 units covering all communication standards, including more than 100,000 LTE and LTE Advanced base stations. The company is continuing to test and integrate 5G technology into its network.
As part of its strategy to promote digital leadership, MegaFon is developing partnerships with world-leading companies that are pioneers in their industries. For instance, in October 2019, MegaFon, Alibaba Group, Mail.Ru Group and the Russian Direct Investment Fund completed the formation of AliExpress Russia, the largest e-commerce joint venture in Russia and the CIS. In June 2019, MegaFon and the Finnish infrastructure operator Cinia Oy signed an agreement to construct a new underwater high-speed fibre optic line from Helsinki to Tokyo.