According to local press reports, Russia’s Federal Supervision Agency for IT, Communications and Media (Roskomnadzor) completed its fourth and final tender for GSM licences on 26 April. The telecoms regulator held four separate tenders during April for a total of 32 licences in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, covering 17 of Russia’s 83 regions. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the first of the four tenders was held on 12 April, with Tele2 Russia, Vimpelcom and Rostelecom winning a selection of licences in the Far Eastern Federal District.
In the second and third tenders – which both took place on 19 April – five Russian companies won a total of eleven licences in ten regions. The second tender was for six licences to provide GSM services in the 1800MHz band in the Kurgan region, Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Districts, and parts of the Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, and Perm regions, while the third tender was for five licences to provide GSM services in the 900MHz band in the Ulyanovsk and Penza regions, the Jewish Autonomous District, and parts of the Kamchatka and Irkutsk regions. Winners included: MOTIV (legal name: Yekaterinburg 2000), which secured GSM licences in the Kurgan region and the Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Districts at the second tender; OSS Telekom (two licences at the second tender, in Krasnoyarsk and Perm); Vimpelcom (an 1800MHz licence in the Irkutsk region at the second tender and 900MHz licences in Irkutsk and the Jewish Autonomous District at the third tender); Mobile TeleSystems (Ulyanovsk and Penza) and Rostelecom (Kamchatka region).
At the fourth and final tender, which took place this week, Tele2 Russia was awarded six new GSM licences, increasing its total operational footprint to 43 regions, with a total population coverage of more than 62 million people. Dmitry Strashnov, CEO of Tele2 Russia, commented: ‘Tele2 would like to be the regional operator of choice in Russia, helping the country’s citizens to access affordable and reliable telecom services. Receiving six new GSM licences is a step in the right direction and will make our ‘Best Deal’ proposition available to an even larger number of consumers and businesses in the country’. Rostelecom and Vimpelcom are believed to have secured additional licences at the fourth tender. According to Roskomnadzor the successful bidders have until 30 April to pay for their respective concessions, with the licences set to be awarded on 7 May 2011.