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October 31, 2005

CyberPlat® begins collecting payments for Utel

Uralsvyazinform, the leading telecom operator in the Urals (trademark - Utel) and CyberPlat®.com have entered into an agreement to collect payments for Utel services through CyberPlat®. Over 3 million Utel subscribers in Kurgan, Perm, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk oblasts and in Komi Perm, Khanty-Mansiysk and Yamalo Nenetskiy autonomous districts are going to be able to pay for their mobile phones online. CyberPlat®.com is thus continuing its drive into the regions of Russia.

Uralsvyazinform OJSC is the largest telecom operator in the Urals. Utel is Uralsvyazinform's brand under which it provides its GSM mobile service: high quality, reliable and affordable. In 2002 six regional companies (Uraltelecom OJSC, Svyazinform OJSC, Khantymansiyskokrtelecom OJSC, Tyumentelecom OJSC, Yamalelectrosvyaz OJSC and Electrosvyaz OJSC) were taken over by the Perm oblast's URalsvyazinform OJSC.

The company's mobile business is developing successfully as the number of its subscribers continues to grow, since the start of this year it increased by 58% and is predicted to reach 3,5 million by the end of the year. Improving the quality of mobile communications is becoming number 1 priority for Uralsvyazinform, collecting payments through CyberPlat® allows the operator to continue working in this direction by broadening the range of services it can offer its subscribers.

To pay for the services a subscriber just needs to fill out a pay ticket, hand the money over to the cash register operator and get a receipt. The security of transactions is guaranteed by the use of electronic signatures.

"Connecting Utel to our system is another important step in the development of our business. Making our presence felt in the regions is one of our strategic goals", comments Vladimir Kuznetsov, CyberPlat®.com's Executive Director.

Uralsvyazinfrom OJSC is the largest provider of Internet access as well as of local, long distance and mobile phone services in the Urals. The company operates in 8 federal regions with a total area oft 1.9 square kilometers and a population of 15 million people: Kurgan, Perm, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk oblasts and in Komi Perm, Khanty-Mansiysk and Yamalo Nenetskiy autonomous districts.

As of October 1, 2005, Uralsvyazinform had 3.5 million fixed and 3.2 million mobile subscribers, plus 500 thousand internet users. The company has an 86% share in the local calls market, an 80% share in the long distance calls and a share of more than 40% in the mobile phones and the Internet segment. It employs 35 thousand people.

The company has the following credit ratings: Standard&Poor's - "B+/Stable", Fitch Ratings - "BB-/Stable". The company's shares are traded in Russian (RTS and MMVB) and foreign (Berlin and Frankfurt) exchanges. In 1996 ADR's were issued for the company's shares and today 10% of the shares have been converted into ADR's. In the June 2005 Financial Times' rating of Europe's largest 100 companies, Uralsvyazinform is 47th with a capitalization of $1.387 billion.

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