Internet Access Costs to Decline in Russia

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Apr. 26 – The cost for yearly Internet access in Russia has fallen between 30 percent and 60 percent, according to a survey from the country’s leading Internet firm Yandex.

The Ural Federal District saw the lowest prices at around US$5.7 per 1 Mbit/s, while the most expensive access area for a network has been registered in the Russian Far East at around US$32.2 per 1 Mbit/s.

In Privolzhsky Federal District, the cost for Internet access was reduced by 43 percent and amounted to US$6.3 per 1 Mbit/s; in the Central Federal District – down 61 percent to US$6.6 per 1 Mbit/s; in Northwest Federal District – down 38 percent to US$12.5 per 1 Mbit/s; in Southern Federal District – down 62 percent to US$11.8 per 1 Mbit/s; Siberian federal district — down 45 percent to US$10.3 per 1 Mbit/s.

According to the Public Opinion Foundation data, the monthly audience of the Russian Internet (Runet) grew by 18 percent in 2010 and now constitutes some 46.5 million users. The key sources of Runet growth are country regions – more than 90 percent of new users live outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Almost 62 million people will use the Internet in Russia by 2013, according to the Internet market research firm eMarketer.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Levada Analytical Center, 36 percent of Russian citizens use a PC every day or several times per week, compared to only 27 percent in 2009. Naturally, the leading categories of this group are students (90 percent), specialists (69 percent) and managers (59 percent).

As it appears from the Public Opinion Foundation forecast, on condition that the terms of services on network access will remain, the price disparity between regions and Moscow will decrease three times by the fall of 2014 – from 26 percentage points to 8 percent.

According to VTB Capital estimation, Internet advertising in Russia is the most rapidly increasing segment of the advertising market with mid-annual growth rate of 66 percent in ruble expression.

Advertising costs have increased by 14 percent to around US$5.4 billion for the first nine months of 2010 in comparison with the same period of 2009, Russian Association of Communication Agencies data says.

The Internet segment has shown the greatest increment of growth on 37 percent to US$634.4 million, while expenses on contextual advertising increased on 45 percent to US$417.2.

“Internet audiences are on the rise in Russia. During the World Financial Crisis, market volume was remarkably squeezed, while the audience grew at approximately the same rates as before the crisis,” Dmitry Ashmanov from Mindhsare Interaction said to the Russian daily Kommersant.

Social networks, according to domestic and international market surveys, show even greater success – their audience grew by 22 percent in 2010.

Russians are the heaviest social networkers worldwide in terms of time spent per user, according to a study of Internet usage in Russia by U.S. web research company comScore.

34.5 million Russian internet users (74.5 percent of the online population) visited at least one social networking site last year. With an average of 9.8 hours per visitor during the month, Russians spent more than double the worldwide average of 4.5 hours per visitor on social networks, ranking it number one among all countries in social networking engagement.

Israel ranked second with an average of 9.2 hours per visitor, followed by Turkey with 7.6 hours and UK with 7.3 hours.

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