Wireless in the local loop (WiLL) operator Telesystems of Ukraine is planning to invest around USD180 million to roll out CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology in the next three three years, General Director Vitaly Vorozhbit told local press this week. Telesystems already offers WiLL connections utilising EV-DO on a trial basis in Kyiv, following a rollout in partnership with Chinese equipment provider Huawei Technologies. It plans to hold a tender to choose a supplier for the construction of a nationwide network by the end of September, with the aim of launching commercial services in Kyiv, Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk by the end of 2006. Five vendors – Huawei, Motorola, ZTE, Nortel Networks and Lucent Technologies – have already applied to take part in the tender, Vorozhbit said.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Telesystems won its WiLL licence in April 1997 when it paid USD8.5 million to use the 800MHz frequency band. It launched its fixed-wireless CDMA IS-95-based network in Kyiv shortly afterwards and followed this up with coverage of other cities in 1998. It is owned by US-based Qualcomm Corporation (49%), Ukrainian company Rhuta-Farm (41.1%) and Ukrtelecom (9.9%).