MTS, Megafon and Beeline opposed the idea of a 5G consortium, mooted to reduce deployment costs by using domestic equipment and infrastructure, Telecom Daily reported.
Competition watchdog FAS and the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media are also reportedly not on board, although the idea is supported by Rostelecom and Tele2 Russia.
Megafon’s objection comes despite the fact that it had formed a 5G joint venture with Rostelecom and was one of the companies initially mentioned in connection with the group.
The trio of operators’ opinions were voiced at a roundtable discussion on the future of 5G in the country.
While reasons for the opposition are unclear, it may be related to the fact a consortium would lower competition.
In 2018 Alexander Gorbatko, deputy head of the Department of Information Technologies of Moscow, stated that while “creating communication networks on the basis of a single infrastructure operator will allow all market players to reduce costs…the unified platform carries the risks of lack of competition and, as a result, high prices for residents and consumers, lack of operator flexibility and monotonous services”.
Earlier this week Oleg Ivanov, deputy minister in the country’s communications ministry reportedly said a decision on the consortium would take place in the coming months.
He added spectrum for testing 5G had already been allocated and a consortium would lower the costs of deployment.
Ivanov also said a 5G pilot would go live by the end of this year and the technology would be available more widely by 2021.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back