Kaspersky Lab protects MTS

The Challenge:

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS. The company is among the world’s top ten mobile phone operators in terms of subscriber numbers and market capitalization. Together with its subsidiaries, the company services over 80 million subscribers in Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Over 6 million of the company’s subscribers use smartphones and communicators running on Windows Mobile and Symbian operating systems, making their devices susceptible to malware infection via MMS, Bluetooth connections or files downloaded from PCs.

Malicious programs such as mobile viruses, Trojans and worms present a variety of threats, ranging from skimming money from a subscriber’s account to destroying the software on a device, often making roll back or restoration impossible. The issue of mobile malware is, without a doubt, of great concern to smartphone users.

In the face of intense competition, and as mobile phone operators witness a significant fall in average revenue per user (ARPU), operators are actively seeking out new sources of income by offering subscribers additional services. One such service is protection from malware which addresses a very real threat for users of smartphones and communicators.

Anti-malware protection for mobile devices is now not only of great significance for the subscribers but also the operators, especially huge companies like MTS. The fact that the number of smartphone users is growing at an explosive rate means services offering protection for such devices are set to become more relevant and profitable.

Mikhail Shamolin, MTS

Moreover, tens of thousands of infected MMS messages are constantly being generated by the numerous versions of mobile worms. This not only takes its toll financially on smartphone owners but also affects other subscribers and places an excessive load on MTS’s servers and the company’s technical support service, which has to deal with numerous complaints about infected smartphones.

The Solution:

A decision was taken by the MTS management to offer a product capable of protecting all subscribers using smartphones from the growing number of mobile-borne threats. In order to generate interest, as well as revenues, it was decided to distribute the product for free, with charges for WAP traffic only. Specialists from the company studied the leading anti-malware products and services for smartphones and communicators that were available on the world market. After a thorough analysis of the leading vendors, the company opted for Kaspersky Lab, which offered the highest quality product in conjunction with first rate round-the-clock technical support.

Other decisive factors in favor of Kaspersky Lab were its flexibility, the minimal implementation costs for the operator, as well as a willingness by the product developers to incorporate the MTS logo into the user interface.

Of particular note is the fact that Kaspersky Lab is not only a leading developer of secure content management solutions but also a recognized world leader in the field of anti-malware for mobiles. Back in 2004 it was namely Kaspersky Lab that detected and neutralized the first malicious program on a smartphone – the mobile worm Babir. The experts at Kaspersky Lab have continued to monitor the developments in mobile-borne threats ever since.

In early 2007 Kaspersky Lab launched Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile, a reliable and easy-to-use solution to protect smartphones running Symbian and Windows Mobile from all types of mobile malware. As well as guaranteeing superior protection from mobile viruses in real time, the application provides anti-spam for SMS, EMS and MMS messages, while the product’s minimal use of system resources allows it to run transparently in the background. It was namely this solution that MTS opted for.

Conclusion:

Garry Kondakov, Kaspersky Lab

The joint project between MTS and Kaspersky Lab took only three months to implement. During that time Kaspersky Lab modified the solution to incorporate the MTS logo and created a special version – Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile 6.0 for MTS – that underwent rigorous testing and certification. Kaspersky Lab’s project team met all the deadlines agreed with the customer, fulfilling all set tasks efficiently and effectively.

The simplicity of the product meant that integration with the operator took only one week. Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile 6.0 for MTS is now available to all users of smartphones with Symbian and Windows Mobile on the MTS network. The new service has proved to be very popular among subscribers: thousands of copies of the product were downloaded on the day of its release. Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile 6.0 for MTS is free to all MTS subscribers with only the cost of the WAP traffic for product download being charged. The increase in WAP traffic has, however, proved to be particularly profitable, creating a significant increase in revenues for the biggest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS. MTS is confident that the investment in Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile 6.0 for MTS will be recouped within a month of its launch.

The aims of the joint project were all achieved in full. A freely-available anti-malware solution means that MTS subscribers no longer have to worry about malicious programs on their smartphones. Moreover, the number of calls to the operator’s technical support service from users with infected devices has fallen substantially. The positive market outlook for services aimed at the growing number of smartphone users points to a long and successful future for the project.

“In response to the rapid growth in subscriber services and the increasing popularity of mobile-based Internet, as well as the ever-increasing range of sophisticated mobile devices for transferring data, MTS has made security and convenient subscriber services a priority. Antivirus protection for mobile devices is an important feature of trouble-free mobile communications, and today we are pleased to offer our subscribers a premium quality product,” added Mikhail Shamolin, Vice-President and Director of Business-unit MTS Russia.

“Checking emails, browsing the Internet and receiving MMS messages or files via Bluetooth are all something today’s smartphone users have become accustomed to. In all those cases Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile allows users to rest assured that their device and personal data are safe and secure. Distinct product strengths such as easy installation and setup, user-friendly functions and antivirus databases that update automatically, as well as our renowned antivirus protection, meant Kaspersky Lab won the tender process to supply an antivirus solution to MTS subscribers,” commented Garry Kondakov, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab EEMEA (Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa).

About Mobile TeleSystems

Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) is the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS. Together with its subsidiaries, the Company services over 83.88 million subscribers. The regions of Russia, as well as Armenia, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, in which MTS and its associates and subsidiaries are licensed to provide GSM services, have a total population of more than 230 million. MTS completed its IPO and listed its Level III ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange in July 2000, under the symbol MBT. More information about MTS can be found at www.mtsgsm.com

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