Vodafone Group broke off a 14-year partnership with Russian operator MTS, following waves of other firms in multiple sectors breaking professional ties with the country, after the invasion of Ukraine commenced.
In a statement, UK-based Vodafone Group said: “Vodafone confirms that it has suspended its partner market agreement with MTS.”
The decision was announced only two months after the two operators extended their partnership to 2023. As part of the deal Vodafone would give MTS access to its expertise in procurement, marketing and network operations. The agreement dates back to 2008 covering those areas but was also expanded to cover a series of joint projects.
Equipment vendors Ericsson and Nokia halted product deliveries to Russian operators citing the need to analyse Western sanctions on Russia, in the wake of the invasion. A move that greatly reduces the capabilities of Russian operators such as MTS, MegaFon, Beeline and Tele 2 Russia, reported CommsUpdate.
Before the conflict, Russia had planned to shut off its 3G networks for commercial use by 2025.