Battle of the bands: army, regulator soldier on with 3G licence campaign

9 Mar 2011

Ukraine’s National Commission for Communications Regulation (NCCR) and the country’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) are reportedly nearing a stage in their negotiations where they may re-sign a plan for conversion of military-held radio frequencies for the long-delayed issuing of licences for 3G (UMTS) mobile services in the 2100MHz band. Local daily writes that in February the MoD sent a final version of the plan for conversion of frequencies for civilian 3G usage to the NCCR, as disclosed by Andrey Gorbach, the chief of planning and use of radio frequency resource at the Armed Forces’ Department of Communication and Information Systems, who added, however, that the conversion will take at least eight months. Late last year, the military and civilian government departments agreed on a compromised version of a plan to convert a 100MHz block of spectrum in the 2100MHz range, costing a total of UAH2.5 billion (USD310 million), of which a third is to come from the private sector mobile network operators and two-thirds from budgetary funds. Previous negotiations have ended in stalemate over disagreements on the price of conversion. According to a previous schedule revealed earlier by former head of the NCCR, Vladimir Oleinik, the regulator hoped to issue a call for expressions of interest in the 3G frequencies by the end of March 2011, ahead of a formal tender to be announced in May or June, although the latest indications point to the licensing timeframe being pushed back to later in the year.