Ericsson has agreed to increase Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar’s network capacity by 30% under a new three-year deal between the two long-term partners. A press release says the expansion and modernisation work is aimed at managing an anticipated surge in uptake of mobile data services. Under the contract the core GSM/EDGE network capacity will be expanded using the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution, which is also designed to facilitate a cost-efficient migration to an all-IP network. The deal also covers microwave transmission, network deployment, systems integration and support services, as well as competence development for staff. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database notes that the award of 3G licences to private operators in Ukraine is long overdue; it was reported in February 2009 that the telecoms regulator the NCCR and the military were unable to agree on the cost of releasing 3G frequencies. Operators including Kyivstar currently offer some 3G-based services via wholesale deals with the country’s only UMTS licensee, state-run Ukrtelecom, which operates a W-CDMA/HSDPA network under the Utel brand.