Interview with Dmitry Shukov, chief executive officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices


“We are very positive with respect to spectrum trading”

Dmitry Shukov, chief executive officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL) is a MTS veteran and has a rich corporate experience in the field of general management, sales and customer service delivery. He had an outstanding career having worked as head of sales in Tele2, Russia’s leading mobile operator.

Before joining SSTL he had been rendering his services as managing director, FE “Uzdunrobita LLC” (MTS Uzbekistan). He is a successful professional who made a significant contribution to consolidating MTS’s position in the telecom market. He has also worked as CEO, MTS Turkmenistan. Dmitry Shukov talks about MTS data strategy, LTE and spectrum trading.

MTS is banking a lot on data. What is your data strategy for FY 2014-15?
Our non-voice revenue contributes 34.5 percent and we need to increase it to 50 percent in 3 to 4 quarters. Our focus is to increase our gross additions both in prepaid and postpaid and have attractive tariff proposals for both. We will focus on increased deployment of Wi-Fi data cards which is the main proposition for Indian data market and is also the most popular. We will launch lot of devices for data and make it attractive in 2014.

How do you see Reliance Jio’s data strategy?   
There is lot of speculation. Reliance Jio and Reliance group are powerful conglomerate and the potential is high. It is difficult to react as we do not see any strategy on the ground.

What’s your strategy on LTE?
We will countinue with 4G technology trials and we will see development of LTE eco-system. We will take part in auction as we are in need of spectrum. We have enough spectrum for CDMA but for LTE, we need more spectrum. LTE is the our next focus and is also the next growth story for India.

What is the capex requirement in FY 2014-15?
We don’t need huge capex as we have enough equipment from circles that we have exited.

What is MTS focus in 2014?
In 2014, we will focus on utilization of our existing network. We will harvest voice and increase our data revenue. We will also increase our HSD footprint in the country through software upgrade.

What’s happening on spectrum trading?
We are looking at spectrum trading and spectrum sharing policies. We are very positive with respect to spectrum trading. Spectrum sharing and spectrum trading are additional opportunities for increasing spectrum basket. Our team is participating in spectrum trading dicussions. Special workgroup has been formed in DoT for giving a final shape to spectrum trading and I believe it will be done by the next government before the end of 2014.

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