Russia may be known to the world by its vast natural resources but when it comes to building a brand the Russian mobile phone operators lead the race.
According to Interbrand Zintzmeyer & Lux’s third annual ranking of 40 most valuable Russian brands arranged by brand value, Beeline and MTS are the most valuable brands in Russia with a value of $7.2 billion and $5.8 billion, respectively.
VimpelCom (Beeline) is the second largest mobile phone operator in Russia and CIS countries with 47.7 million subscribers as of June 30, 2007. VimpelCom was the first Russian company to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1996, under the symbol VIP.
Beeline topped the brand rankings in Russia in both 2006 and 2005.
Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS countries with 78 million subscribers. MTS listed its shares on NYSE in July 2000, under the symbol MBT. MTS is majority-owned by Sistema, the largest private sector consumer services company in Russia and the CIS.
MegaFon, the brand behind Russia’s number three mobile phone operator is valued at $477 million and ranked 6th. RBC, the brand behind a Russian media holding with major exposure to Internet, is valued at $215 million and ranked 22nd.