A plan regulating the allocation of frequencies for 3G mobile services, WiMAX, Wi-Fi and digital TV broadcasting has been signed by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov, the country’s Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (MTT) reported in a press release yesterday. The plan, approved by the government in April, lists wireless technologies to be introduced in Ukraine in the near future and sets out measures to oversee the issuing of radio frequencies and the implementation of services.
The government had previously announced that a total of four 3G licences will be issued. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database notes that one of the four UMTS concessions has already been awarded to state-run Ukrtelecom, on 1 December 2005 without a tender, much to the annoyance of the country’s two largest cellcos UMC and Kyivstar, which claimed the award was illegal. Ukrtelecom paid UAH152 million (USD30 million) for a combined 2G/3G concession. Its business plan targets a GSM launch by November 2006 followed by ‘fast’ introduction of 3G technology as part of a planned long-term investment of USD700 million. The telco previously exited the mobile market in November 2002 when it agreed to sell a controlling stake in UMC to Russia’s MTS for USD172 million. Other domestic contenders for UMTS licences include URS, recently relaunched under the Beeline brand of Russian parent Vimpelcom, and Astelit, backed by Turkey’s Turkcell.