Russia's MTS to extend re-branding to Belarus next week

MOSCOW, June 22 (Prime-Tass) -- Russia's largest mobile operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) plans to extend its re-branding campaign to Belarus next week, MTS' President Leonid Melamed told reporters Thursday.

MTS operates in Belarus through its 49%-owned affiliate MTS Belarus, while the local government controls the remaining stake.

MTS also plans to decide on timeline for re-branding in Ukraine within 30 days, Melamed said. The campaign will be extended to Ukraine no later than in 18 months, he added.

MTS fully controls Ukraine's second largest mobile operator Ukrainian Mobile Communications (UMC).

In Russia, its major market, MTS started the re-branding campaign in May and presented its new logo, a white egg inside a red square. The move was part of a wider re-branding campaign of companies controlled by major Russian telecommunication and multi-industry holding AFK Sistema, which developed a single logo for its major telecommunication subsidiaries while assigning different colors to them.

MTS had a total of 65.391 million users as of June 1, including 14.851 million users in Ukraine and 2.498 million users in Belarus, according to Advanced Communications & Media (AC&M).