MegaFon is the first all-Russian mobile phone operator using the GSM 900/1800 standard. The company was established in May 2002 as a result of the merger of Northwest GSM, a major mobile operator in the Northwest of Russia, and a number of regional mobile operators. In July 2007 MegaFon’s network expanded coverage over the entire territory of the RF. Within a short time MegaFon – the youngest Russian operator among the Big Three – was able to capture significant market share. At the end of 2006 MegaFon had over 19,5% of the Russian mobile market.
Values of the Brand
MegaFon’s brand values are targeted at young and active people who build their future and the future of their country with their own hands. The slogan ‘The Future Depends on You’ is a statement of their life position. Constant development is the subject, which is promoted at the level of marketing communications. Development of human relations, development of personality over time, creation, which is possible because of such development, and technical progress as a way to improve quality of life.
Many of the services that MegaFon offers its customers are innovative ones that are designed to be provided with thirdgeneration networks. Subscribers gradually become familiar with the new capabilities of their handsets, more and more actively use value-added services, and perceive their mobile phone as not only a means for voice communication, but also as a source of information and entertainment. The construction of a new-generation mobile network will make it possible to expand the functionality of mobile communication and turn a telephone into a universal communications tool that may replace a TV-set, computer, Playstation, library and bank card.
MegaFon’s subscribers set up their handsets easily and quickly for operation with WAP and MMS, and for that they do not need to be versed in high technologies. Over 90% of mobile handsets that are registered with the network are set up by pushing one button: the settings come 1–5 minutes after SIM card activation and subscribers only need to confirm their application.
The Automatic Settings project took more than a year to be implemented in MegaFon’s network. This is the first system of such scale worldwide that is compatible with network equipment from three different vendors.
Innovations & Promotion
The concept of creating third-generation IMT-2000 communication systems is one of the most impressive projects of the late 20th century. Its implementation suggests further fusion of mobile communication with other technologies, updating of equipment and, as a consequence, further expansion of the range of provided services, including high-speed data transmission, global roaming and multimedia.
MegaFon, represented by the Northwest Branch (former Northwest GSM), stood at the cradle of 3G communication development in Russia. It was one of the founders of the 3G Association, which was established in December 1999 for the purpose of coordinating the efforts of all parties interested in building 3G mobile systems. Over the past few years MegaFon has tested a number of innovative mobile services and implemented many up-to-date solutions, which testifies to the company’s preparedness to create 3G networks and provide advanced services to subscribers on the basis of high-speed data transmission technology.
Promotion of new products is one of the most important areas of MegaFon’s business. It is not only the way to satisfy the most demanding customers and to attract new users, but also demonstrate the latest achievements in the field of info communications.
Russians are expressing more and more interest in the growing opportunities of mobile telephony. Demand for new services is increasing along with the number of people who regularly use value-added services. However, subscribers are far from knowing everything about the capabilities of modern mobile communication, and new developments in this area appear quite often. That is why MegaFon considers that one of the most essential tasks before 3G implementation in Russia is to get subscribers to familiarize themselves with new multimedia services.
The ‘Practice’ promotion, which was conducted by MegaFon-Moscow, is an example of MegaFon’s educational activities. Special stands were set up in major Moscow universities, where MegaFon’s employees demonstrated the capabilities of mobile Internet, multimedia and other useful services. Specialists showed how to watch video and read books using a regular mobile handset. Anyone could activate a service that he/she liked, set up a handset and get acquainted with advanced mobile technology.
Since 2003 the well-known Russian agency APR Media Services, which is part of the international media holding OMD, Omnicom Group, has been in charge of developing a media strategy, as well as advertising in countrywide mass media and on outdoor installations. In the area of creative work for advertising campaigns and production of advertising materials, MegaFon has cooperated since 2005 with McCann-Erickson, a prominent international complete-cycle advertising agency. Since 2003 the main slogan of the company has been ‘MegaFon. The Future Depends on You’. In combination with video stories, this phrase creates a romantic and optimistic disposition while conveying a businesslike attitude. MegaFon’s original methods for service promotion have been noted by The Wall Street Journal Europe and other respected Russian and international periodicals.
MegaFon is actively involved in the country’s life, holds social programs and brings surprise and pleasure to Russian citizens with its ‘Rise Above the Clouds’ project, a traveling show of the company’s hot-air balloon and dirigible fleet. MegaFon always has new bold ideas that will, no doubt, facilitate the success of the brand in the Russian market.
Economy & Finance
Penetration of mobile communication in Russia is over 100%. MegaFon’s market share as of 2006 is 19,5%. Over one year, the operator’s subscriber base has grown 30% from 22,8 million at the end of 2005 to 29,7 million at the end of 2006. During 2006 the number of RF administrative regions in MegaFon’s coverage area has increased from 85 to 88 owing to the regions of Siberia and Far East. In Siberia the footprint of the network operation included Taimyr (Dolgano- Nenets) Autonomous District, the Republic of Khakassia, Omsk region and Altay District. In addition, the quality of the network has been improved in a number of regions, including Moscow. In terms of EDGE integration, Moscow became the largest ‘mobile’ city of Europe and is one of the world’s five largest cities where this technology is used.
Achievements & Prospects
The company’s success in the Russian telecom market is confirmed both by high financial indicators and professional awards. In 2006 alone, MegaFon’s business was recognized by experts three times. The company was awarded Grand Prix of Best Brand of the Year/EFFIE 2006 contest in the ‘Reputation and Trust’ category, won the ‘International Honorary Award for Social Responsibility of Business’ as the Socially Responsible Company and won the annual national award ‘Leaders of the Russian Economy’ in the sphere of social responsibility of business as Russia’s Best Employer. The company is proud of the fact that MegaFon became the holder of the first Russian license for UMTS network after receiving the highest number of points in the tender – 560. The era of 3G mobile communication in Russia as well as in Eastern Europe started in February 2002. Then, during the Norvecom exhibition, the first ever long-distance Moscow-Saint Petersburg video call was made between two users of 3G mobile system that was rolled out as UMTS test zone in MegaFon’s network. The next breakthrough took place in June 2005, when CJSC ‘ôô mobile’, a 75% subsidiary of MegaFon, announced the launch of a 3G network in Tajikistan. Tajikistan became the first country in Central Asia where the telecommunications of the future started to operate. Next year operation of the first new-generation networks will be started in Russia.
Things you didn’t know about MegaFon
In 2003 during Sviaz-Expocomm exhibition MegaFon-Moscow was the first in Russia to demonstrate live broadcasting of a TV program to mobile handsets via a GSM network.
In July 2007 MegaFon’s subscriber base exceeded 33 million.