Following its successful bid for GSM-1800 licences in four regions of Siberia, Russian CDMA-450 operator SkyLink has announced it intends to develop a CDMA/GSM multi-standard network, with the first GSM services to launch next year. Gul’nara Khasianova, SkyLink’s director general, told a conference that her company plans to implement CDMA/GSM services in ‘most’ of Russia’s regions by 2011, and will participate in further upcoming GSM spectrum auctions to further this goal. She added that SkyLink is initially eyeing three additional regions in which to obtain GSM concessions and construct networks, whilst utilising CDMA roaming to extend its national coverage further. Khasianova stated that GSM network construction in one region would require investment of around USD10 million, and predicted that project outlay would be recouped in five years. SkyLink, part of the Sistema group, already provides CDMA2000 1xEV-DO wireless services in the 450MHz frequency band.