LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – RUSSIA & CIS, MOSCOW: Veon CSO Alexander Popovskiy (pictured) identified a lack of spectrum as the main challenge facing Russia in terms of 5G, with problems surrounding auctions and distribution of lesser importance.
“No matter what method of distributing spectrum among operators, whether they form associations or it is sold by auction, it is all secondary to the fact that we need to release spectrum and make it usable for civilian purposes,” he stated.
In the past operators have shared spectrum with primary users, but Popovskiy does not believe this will work for 5G: based on forecasts of spectrum needs in the coming years, “we need to focus on the C-band or the lower range”.
Popovskiy stated “we need to find 600MHz in low-band spectrum and we need to focus all the players of the industry, all the regulators, all the federal authorities to unite around this one task” in order to deliver powerful 5G networks. Without this, it is pointless to even discuss the future of Russia’s digital economy, he noted.
“We need to find a solution. It may be expensive but it will be good for companies and customers” in the long run, he concluded.
Meanwhile Gulnara Hasyanova, executive director of non-profit mobile network promotion organisation LTE Union, said it is worth looking into the 4.4MHz and 5MHz range, which Japan and China are using to build 5G networks, and perhaps also learn from what the US is doing.
She also stressed that the price of radio frequencies must be kept low so operators “remain interested in developing 5G,” a sentiment echoed by all the speakers in the session including Sebastian Tolstoy, president of Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Ericsson.
Tolstoy also recommended that in Russia 5G networks be built over the 4G network “to ensure fast, seamless and cost-effective deployment”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter