CHAMPION Technology Holdings has formed a joint-venture company with Russian and US partners to launch Moscow's first ever multi-lingual radio paging system. The joint-venture company, provisionally called Moscow Paging, will be majority owned by Champion. Other partners will include Moscow power giant Mosegergo and one of its associates, Scientific and Production Centre (Prioritet). The unnamed US partners in the deal are said to be ''well-established management consulting firms specialising in international telecommunications''. There are already four paging companies in Moscow, all of which operate only in English. A fifth operator is believed to be about to enter the market with a Cyrillic (Russian character) paging system. However, the Kantone system, developed for Moscow Paging by Champion, will be the first to provide dual English-Cyrillic messaging and commercial paging services when it is launched next year. Champion's managing director James Carter said: ''We are optimistic about the economy in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States in general, which has a population of 250 million. ''We look at this market as a potentially important profit centre for Champion in the future.'' Moscow alone holds much potential with its population of 16 million. As with China, ordinary telephone lines are still a luxury in Russia, and pagers are emerging as a cheaper and more ready alternative. Champion will supply Moscow Paging with all its paging systems, including transmission network, proprietary software, central information processing and control, and technical and maintenance services. Many of the products heading for Russia may be manufactured by Multitone Electronics, the British-listed paging manufacturer acquired by Champion for GBP21.5 million (about HK$248 million) earlier this month.