VimpelCom, MTS to share 4G spectrum in Russia - Mobile World Live

VimpelCom, MTS to share 4G spectrum in Russia

18 DEC 2015

VimpelCom Russia and MTS will share the 2.6GHz radio frequencies used for LTE in 20 Russian regions, an update to their agreement from December last year to develop and operate 4G networks across the country.

“In the long term, the agreement allows for a doubling of the peak speeds currently available to MTS and VimpelCom Russia customers up to 150 Mb/s,” VimpelCom said in a statement.

Andrei Dubovskov, MTS president and CEO, said the operator managed to grow LTE subscriber numbers 30 per cent faster in those areas with joint networks in the first phase of the agreement, and reduce the cost of construction and joint network usage by 10 to 15 per cent compared to initial estimates.

He also said MTS was “grateful” to Russia’s ministry of communication and mass media for preparing the regulatory framework that will help operators increase data transfer speeds and speed up construction of the network.

Under the terms of the 2014 agreement, MTS will build and operate LTE base stations for shared use in 19 regions between 2014 and 2016, while VimpelCom will do the same in 17 regions.

In the first year of the project, shared LTE networks were launched in 31 of the 36 regions.

They plan to share base stations, platforms, infrastructure and resources of the transportation network but can also build their own networks to improve individual 4G coverage.

The term of the agreement is seven years and can be extended.

VimpelCom is headquartered in the Netherlands, with Russia as its largest market where last month it saw revenue fall by 43 per cent to $1.15 billion. A small increase in mobile service revenue was offset by a decline in its fixed business. Mobile service revenue was pushed up by mobile data and interconnect revenue.

Meanwhile, MTS saw revenue in Q3 2015 rise by 7.4 per cent to $1.77 billion off the back of surging domestic data revenue and handset sales.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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