MTS and VimpelCom are discussing setting up a joint venture to operate antenna towers in a bid to share the costs of running phone networks in the country.
Sharing networks and towers has been a key strategy for reducing telecom capital expenditures globally as operators seek to lower expenses and preserve cash during downturns.
Discussions about a new company, which could resemble U.S. tower firm American Tower Corp. or London-based Eaton Towers, are at an early stage, said Valeria Kuzmenko, a spokeswoman for MTS.
"There are no finalized agreements," she said, adding that the companies involved had yet to agree on the potential savings.
VimpelCom said the new entity would be in charge of building new towers as well as servicing existing ones.