According to an unconfirmed report by RIA Novosti, Russian Long Term Evolution (LTE) operator Scartel (Yota) has revealed launch details for a handful of key markets. The company’s CEO Denis Sverdlov told reporters that Yota expects to launch commercial operations in Moscow and Sochi on 10 May and 11 May respectively, before launching in the city of Samara on 23 May. In addition, Yota hopes to introduce LTE in both Novosibirsk, which has acted as the company’s LTE test-base since December 2011, and Krasnodar on or before 10 May. Sverdlov has previously stated that Yota expects to switch on its LTE networks in St Petersburg and Ufa by September 2012. The CEO, who was speaking at a live LTE demonstration in Moscow on 15 April, confirmed that the company currently has 1,200 LTE base stations situated in the capital.
Earlier this month Yota postponed its long-awaited Moscow LTE launch from 15 April until 10 May, after subscribers experienced difficulties in replacing their WiMAX dongles with LTE devices in time for the switch-over. Yota is offering free replacement devices for any customers who have been using its WiMAX services for two months or more. Yota received regulatory approval from telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor to abandon WiMAX for LTE in July 2010.