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Global Telecoms Business
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Do the maths in Moscow

01 April 2004

The executive heading a major investment in OSS in Moscow's metropolitan gigabit ethernet carrier Comstar is a former professor of mathematics. Alan Burkitt-Gray interviews Vladimir Pelipenko on investment plans to upgrade systems in a highly competitive market

People come into the telecommunications business from a wide variety of careers. There are, of course, lots of bankers and lawyers, though possibly fewer now than during the dotcom boom. There are people who have run office products companies and supermarket chains. There are still many who started by installing phones in customers' premises or checking wiring along poles in the street.

And Vladimir Pelipenko, the chief information officer of Comstar in Moscow? He's a former professor of mathematics.

As Russia has changed over the past decade and a half, so has he. He has moved from the Moscow State University first to one of the incumbent telecoms operators and then, two years ago, to a senior position in a metro ethernet provider with 8,000 customers.

Moscow has a highly competitive market for telecoms, says Pelipenko. "There are a lot of alternative suppliers." Comstar...