Russia’s Federal Communications Agency (Rossvyaznadzor) has approved plans by broadband operator Scartel (working under its Yota brand) and national operator Rostelecom to use their existing radio frequencies to deploy new Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. The regulator had previously said that the frequencies allocated to WiMAX could not be used for other technologies.
In May 2010 Yota announced that it had decided to roll out a network based on LTE, turning its back on its previous technology of choice, WiMAX. Scartel plans to begin the construction of a commercial LTE network this summer, while Rostelecom plans to launch LTE networks in 2011. Both operators are currently preparing LTE testing areas based on Russian equipment. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Scartel plans to spend USD100 million in 2010 on the rollout of LTE networks in five Russian cities, with total investment expected to reach USD2 billion.