Antares authorised to use 1900MHz band for LTE

1 May 2012

According to an unconfirmed report by Vedomosti, the Federal Supervision Agency IT, Communications & Media (Roskomnadzor) has granted Antares Telecom permission to use its long-held frequencies in the 1900MHz-1920MHz spectrum band to deploy a network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. The frequencies are held by the Russian firm and its regional subsidiaries Arktur and Integral, and were originally handed to the companies in early-2008, covering the period between 18 April 2008 and 18 April 2013. Previously, in March 2012, the watchdog reacted angrily to reports that Antares was set to embark on an LTE trial in Moscow, refuting suggestions that the company was in possession of the necessary permissions.

Although TeleGeography has been unable to ascertain the precise ownership of Antares Telecom, it is worth noting that both Russian engineering giant E4 Group and British Virgin Islands-registered Wagner Asset Management have been linked to the company in various media reports during recent years. In March 2012 Russian press speculation linked national operator Rostelecom with an approach for the enigmatic operator, although no further information has been made available. Back in 2008 Antares’ frequencies were believed to have been distributed as follows: Antares (17 regional licences covering 17 regions in central Russia (including Moscow) and seven regions in Siberia and the Urals; Integral (13 regions in the North Caucasus, nine in the Far East Federal District and twelve in Siberia); and Arktur (14 regions in Volga, the Urals and Bashkortostan, and ten covering north-western Russia and St Petersburg). Whilst few concrete details are known about the company, its name has cropped up several times in recent years in relation to the deployment of LTE in both Russia and Vietnam.