Photo: Mikhail Japaridze/TASS
After a year of searching, the authorities of St. Petersburg decided on the contractor for the construction of wifi network in the city metro — the online operator of the Moscow subway “Maximalism”
The final Protocol of the meeting of the auction Committee for the right to conclude agreement on placement of equipment for the creation and operation of zones of free Wi-Fi access at the facilities of the St. Petersburg underground was published on the website of GUP on October 11. “Maximalism” was the only bidder, because the bid of the second bidder — LLC “Aerkom” — was rejected because of inconsistencies with the terms of the auction.
Under the terms of the contract network in the St. Petersburg subway system should be fully built by December 2017, and the first place on Frunze-Primorskaya (purple line) — in February 2017. In addition, Wi-Fi will appear on subway platforms of Petersburg. In a similar project in Moscow, the network only works on four platforms — on “Exhibition”, “Business center”, “Dmitry Donskoy Boulevard” and “the ulitsa starokachalovskaya Street”.
The press service of the St. Petersburg metro declined to comment on the outcome of the auction. Director of communications of “Maximalism” Ilya Grabowski noted that “the company will be glad to realize such a project, leaving the city residents free Internet access in the subway.”
Not once the network is built
The Metropolitan of St. Petersburg announced a competition for the launch of Wi-Fi for its passengers back in the fall of 2015, but it was nullified because of a lack of applications. However, according to RBC sources in the market at the moment “Maximalism” was ready to implement the project. The company did not satisfy the conditions of the underground: sue asked with the operator’s 14 million rubles. per month for “access to the passengers”, but the operator insisted on the symbolic amount — for example, 1 RUB. per month, referring to the high threshold costs of construction of infrastructure.
Later, the city agreed that the cost of the right of placing network equipment in the metro should be reduced. The Chairman of the investment Committee of administration of St.-Petersburg Irina Babiuk at the meeting said that the exemption of 90% on the rental of infrastructure will enable the investor to recoup the investment in eight years instead of 12. The possible cost of the project was evaluated by the members of the Committee to 1.8 billion rubles.
The final amount of investment in network construction is not yet marked, but the forecast for possible expenses are already much lower than in 2015. So, for the installation of equipment for the rolling stock, the company will pay 70,3 RUB over the kit for the tail/head coaches and 35,14 RUB — for intermediate cars. For comparison, initially it amounted to 1.9 thousand RUB Decreased and the cost of placing cables and access points for passengers.
The first pancake is not lumpy
Among the owners of “Maximalism” former President of “SITRONICS” Sergey Aslanyan, the names of other shareholders were not disclosed. The company has built and in September 2013 launched the first segment of the Wi-Fi network on Kakhovka line in the Moscow metro. At all line network up and running in December 2014. It estimated investment in the project $70 million (about 2 billion rubles in 2013-2014), had planned to return on their investment by 2020. According to Ilya Grabowski, the company will return to operating profit this year.
In “Maximalism” did not specify the anticipated investment in the St. Petersburg project and the payback period. The monetization model of the company involves advertising revenues and user fees, including seamless network access without ads. Mobile advertising in the revenue structure of “Maximalism” is about 75%. The company also makes telecommunications services, including mobile operators and offers shopping malls Analytics on visitor traffic. According to “TMT Consulting” at the end of 2015 “Maximalism” has received 52% of the revenues of the Moscow market of public Wi-Fi.
Experience operating network in Moscow shows the high demand of the service by passengers and demonstrates the superiority of Russian cities on other world capitals, where free Wi-Fi in trains is not available, says Ilya Grabowski. The daily audience of the Moscow Wi-Fi network in the metro is 1.5 million unique users who make up to 3 million connections. Every day through the network is 70 TB of traffic. Total for 2015 year, there were about 550 million connections.