GSMA supports Russia operators in move to IP communications

You may remember a recent blogpost highlighting our ongoing work with Russia’s mobile network operators MegaFon, MTS, Tele2 and VimpelCom (Beeline), as well as the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation. We created a dedicated working group to collaborate and share best practise with a view to agreeing a common approach to the deployment of IP Communications across the country. This includes services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi), Video over LTE (ViLTE) and Rich Communications Services (RCS), which will offer enhanced messaging and communications experiences to customers across the country.

The collaboration has progressed and we are now pleased to announce that these Russian operators have committed to delivering cross-network, interconnected IP-based services that will deliver higher quality calls, faster connection speeds and real-time messaging to customers. Specifically, the agreement covers the following areas:

  • Common configuration profile for VoLTE services. MegaFon, MTS, Tele2 and VimpelCom have formally endorsed a common profile for VoLTE and ViLTE services in Russia. VoLTE has been launched by 467 operators in 153 countries to date, reaching 48 per cent of the world’s population. It offers operators a number of cost and operational benefits by removing the need to have voice and data on separate networks.
  • Feasibility study for VoLTE interconnection trial. MegaFon, MTS, Tele2 and VimpelCom have confirmed the technical readiness of their IMS networks and agreed to work collaboratively with the GSMA on a Feasibility Study for a cross-operator VoLTE interconnection trial.
  • Support for Universal Profile for RCS. All operators have agreed to support the Universal Profile for RCS services, which will help to reduce fragmentation in the market and give customers access to advanced messaging experiences. You can read more about the Universal Profile here.
  • Open market devices pre-configured with agreed VoLTE and RCS profiles. All operators are committed to encouraging OEMs to utilise common and consistent device configurations that will promote and support the development of RCS, VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi services. A joint approach will ensure that all customers receive the same high quality service irrespective of the network provider or device in use.
  • Removal of legislative barriers preventing adoption of all-IP communications services in Russia and abroad. As with all markets, new technologies must adhere to domestic rules and the group will work together with the Ministry to overcome any potential barriers to delivering these new services.

This is an exciting time for the Russian market and the close collaboration between its operators is an excellent example for other markets to follow. IP communications will deliver an enhanced customer experience and through interconnection with other operators can offer truly global reach and scale.

To find out more about the GSMA’s Network 2020 programme, go to