MTS Turkmenistan is the largest mobile carrier operating in Turkmenistan. Founded in 1994 as Barash Communications Technologies Inc (BCTI), the company became a wholly controlled subsidiary of Russian-owned Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) in 2005 following a buyout of remaining investors. The entity is comprised of a joint venture between Russian-owned Telecom Projects LLC and Russian-owned Mobile TeleSystems PJSC.
The company has had a troubled history operating in the country, with a licence suspension in 2010 forcing a closure spanning two years. In October 2017 MTS Group announced that it has been ‘compelled’ to suspend the operations of its subsidiary in Turkmenistan. MTS allegedly pointed the finger of blame at local state-owned operator Turkmentelecom, saying the service suspension was the result of actions by the latter service provider which ‘resulted in the disconnection of international and long-distance zonal communication services and internet access’.
MTS Turkmenistan operates standard 2G GSM services over 900 and 1800 MHz, and launched 3G UMTS services over B1 (2100 MHz) band in November 2010. No 4G LTE services are available through MTS. MTS issued a directive to dismantle equipment in Turkmenistan in late 2018, closing all operations.