Minister calls for 3G licensing this year

21 Feb 2006

Russia’s IT and Telecommunications Minister Leonid Reiman yesterday said that the country should issue 3G mobile licenses as soon as possible, as the market for 2G GSM services is reaching saturation. He predicted that signs of saturation will be even more visible by the middle of the year, and called for the introduction of 3G technology to give the market a boost. Russia’s three largest GSM mobile operators Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Vimpelcom and MegaFon have already tested 3G networks, but the only company in possession of a 3G licence is Skylink, which provides services in the Moscow Licensed Area (MLA) and St Petersburg. In September 2005 regulator GosSviazNadzor issued Skylink with concessions for trial and commercial 3G services in the 1.9GHz and 2.1GHz frequencies. It hopes to launch services through Delta Telecom in St Petersburg and its MLA business Moscow Cellular Communications (MCC).