South Korean handset maker Samsung Electronics will open its own stores in Russia's biggest cities and sell its handsets and tablet computers on contract in MTS' 2,000 shops, the companies said Friday.
Samsung topped global smartphone sales rankings last year, but in Russia it has yet to overcome Finnish rival Nokia.
Samsung's share of the Russian smartphone market almost tripled last year to 28.4 percent, mainly at the expense of Nokia, whose share decreased to 44 percent from 64 percent in 2010, according to MTS. Total sales of mobile handsets in Russia rose 16 percent in 2011 to 40.5 million units. Sales grew 12 percent to 174.8 billion rubles ($5.94 billion).