MTS (MICEX-RTS:_MTSS / NYSE:_MBT) is the largest mobile operator in Russia and CIS with over 102.4 million subscribers as of 31 December 2009. Having started in the Moscow license zone in 1994, MTS in 1997 received licenses for further areas and began expansion, later entering other countries of the CIS. The MTS mobile network operates using the GSM standard. It currently holds licences to provide mobile services in 81 out of 83 regions in Russia and the entire territories of Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan. MTS is currently the biggest mobile operator in Central and Eastern Europe. On October 31, 2008, Vodafone announced a partnership deal with MTS, whereby Vodafone services will be available to MTS subscribers and both companies have noted the potential for more efficient purchasing. In 2009 MTS acquired several independent mobile retail chains, creating MTS monobrand retail network of 3300 stores - the second largest retail network in Russia.
Contributions by Anty102, Gimlei, and Vezuka72.