Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), a leading mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, and Nokia have signed a memorandum of understanding on the direct delivery of Nokia devices to MTS’ retail network.

The first joint project of the two companies will be the priority sales launch of Nokia N97, Nokia’s “mobile computer” device equipped with software from MTS.

The Nokia N97 will begin selling this month (June) in over 75 countries. Along with a tilting 3.5″ touch display, QWERTY keyboard and a fully customizable home screen, the Nokia N97 will offer instant access to the full range of Ovi services.

It’s Nokia’s first device to feature a personalizable home screen, which can be customized with widgets to bring live information to the device. These widgets include social networking sites like Facebook and Hi5, news services like the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Reuters, as well as shopping and weather information. (Read: Phone with Your Own Screen)

As MTS is trying to woo local buyers, it has been joining hands with leading global players. In October last year, for example, MTS and Vodafone had signed a non-equity partnership to provide customers with better communications services. Vodafone will support MTS for developing 3G networks and mobile broadband products. (Read: Vodafone, MTS are Partners in Russia)

The agreement signed by MTS and Nokia at the 2009 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum provides for the direct supply of Nokia products to MTS’ retail network, joint marketing campaigns to promote Nokia’s handsets, and a special training program for MTS’ retail employees.

“This partnership agreement with Nokia is a milestone in our development of the MTS proprietary retail network,” says Mikhail Shamolin, president and CEO of MTS. 

According to MTS, it has developed a number of branded applications for Nokia N97 aimed at business users that will be distributed on a free 2 GB micro-SD memory card. The sales of Nokia N97 will start on June 17 in all MTS stores in Moscow and in the Nokia store. 

By the end of the month, the device will become available to subscribers of all mobile operators through the MTS retail network in Russia and the 30 Nokia stores in the largest Russian cities.

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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