Few countries have gone as far as fast as Russia in creating a modern, nimble, diverse telecommunications grid. Supporting your client’s network in Russia goes far beyond laying some fiber optics cable. You have a range, from coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, domestic satellite capability, wireless phone service, increasing broadband capability all being nursed by a Russian government eager to tout its IT prowess.
A recent panel discussion at Davos Russia House summed up the current telecommunications environment in Russia:
“Russia is a major player in global information technology with scientist, startups, and major companies all contributing innovations in a diverse array of areas – from block-chain and fintech to cybersecurity and smart city technologies.”
Also, consider this interesting take from Australian telecom research firm Budde:
Telcos continue to deploy and modernise fixed-line network infrastructure to offer improved broadband services as well as a range of IP-delivered content. The government is investing billions of Rubles in a 200,000km telecom network which will provide a broadband service of at least 10Mb/s to thousands of underserved villages. Rostelecom has been contracted to undertake and manage the work.
Russia has also emerged as one of Europe’s fastest growing markets for fibre-based broadband, with Rostelecom’s own fibre broadband access network covering more than 33 million premises. By the end of 2016 some 60% of the company’s broadband subscribers were on its fibre infrastructure.
Yes, Russia has arrived as a major player in telecom. So, how can you support a client who is established in Russia and has a growing portfolio of telecom capability? Here are five recommendations:
1. Use Global Field Techs
The key to telecom success in Russia, unless you have your own in-house tech staff, is to partner with a corps of highly skilled and thoroughly vetted global field technicians who can be called upon 24/7 to fix any problems that might arise — and they will arise — within a company’s IT infrastructure. Support for your telecom client in Russia via a robust global field tech network, such as the one offered by Kinettix, will save a lot of money and headaches.
2. Have Friends In The Ministry
No, not that ministry (although sometimes doing business in Russia can be so complicated divine intervention seems needed). We mean the Ministry of Telecommunications and Mass Communications. A close second would be having friends in the Federal Agency for Communications, which is in charge of public services within the telecom sector.
The Ministry has set goals for high quality and ubiquitous access to 4G internet nationwide and mobile communications available on all mass transit by the end of 2018. It covers these five communications economic sectors: telecommunications, postal services, mass media, information technologies, and providing of public services in electronic form.
The Ministry has the power to issue and revoke many authorizations and licenses related to telecom in Russia, so you want to cultivate contacts in the ministry to support your telecom client in Russia.
The FAC, meanwhile, resolves disputes in with the telecom sector and. sets the minimum and maximum costs of interconnection services per connection point. Cultivating good relationships here can help if there is a problem later.
3. Establish Relationships with Universities
Russia has some universities that are top-flight telecom, IT, and AI incubators designing tomorrow’s informational ecosystem unique to Russia. If you are a telecom operating a diverse portfolio of IT platforms, having access to Russian speaking students, forging relationships with tomorrow’s technological and governmental leaders.
Telecom in Russia is about more than wireless connections — it’s also low-tech human connections. And it’s a long game, with an eye on next year and next decade. Cultivating contacts and taking advantage of Russia’s emerging place on the world IT stage is a wise investment.
Consider Russia’s plans to create a “digital platform for the university of the future.” This is just one of many initiatives to forge alliances between today’s youngest and brightest tech leaders in Russia with business and tech leaders. To support our diverse global telecom in Russia, we recommend getting involved at the university level to help your long game in Russia.
4. Implement Scalable Solutions
Russia is a diverse country of sparsely populated hinterlands and cosmopolitan urban cities. You have vast steppes of generally nomadic populations and cities with the most sophisticated technological capabilities in the world. You have areas that are edge of Arctic permafrost, and areas of baking desert. You have different languages, cultures, and needs. One size doesn’t fit all in Russia and won’t for a global telecom with a diverse portfolio.
Offering your global telecom scalable solutions that are tailored to the situation, whether they be security cameras on a remote Siberia college campus to wireless point of sale systems in the shadow of Red Square, you want to be nimble enough to thrive in any Russian situation. Working with global field techs who can provide 24/7 scalable solutions is a superb way to support a telecom client.
There are also the issues of creating systems that work today and next year. The technological landscape is constantly changing and you don’t want to have to swap out systems every two months, so part of scalability is projecting outward. Consider Russian telecom giant Rostelecom and their optimization of their content delivery systems using scalable solutions.
5. Try the Nesting Doll Approach
Everyone’s seen the set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another that are a cultural icon in Russia. We look at supporting a global telecom client in the same way, offering a large package of front-line support followed inside by smaller and smaller — but no less important — services to help light the way for a growing telecom with a diverse portfolio.
Services like 24/7 availability, scalability, and governmental accessibility are the exterior nesting doll, but inside are important ones like account configuration, legal agreements for labor, payment settings, talent curation, talent pools created with labor requirements, onboarding network support, ticket processing, technical test-out, BOM (Bill of Materials) analysis, white label dispatch desk, and more.
So find a partner that can support your diverse Russian telecom portfolio, and you’ll keep growing, one steppe at a time.