Operators’ 3G plans blocked by regulator

14 Nov 2006

Ukraine’s National Commission on Communications Regulation (NCCR) has refused to issue licenses for 3G services to four mobile operators – Kyivstar, Ukrainian Mobile Communications (UMC), Astelit and Ukrainian Radio Systems (URS). The reason given for the refusal was that the cellcos failed to reach an agreement with military bodies on joint usage of UMTS frequencies. Ukraine’s only 3G licensee is state-owned fixed line operator Ukrtelecom, which received its concession without auction in late 2005. Ukrtelecom is currently constructing its 3G network in partnership with Finland’s Nokia. Yesterday it announced that it expects to launch the network in March 2007, and aims to grab 10% of the mobile market by focusing mainly on the corporate segment.