Delayed Yota LTE network goes live in Moscow; MTS linked with MVNO arrangement

15 May 2012

Russian WiMAX-turned-Long Term Evolution (LTE) operator Scartel, which operates under the ‘Yota’ brand name, has inaugurated its delayed LTE network in Moscow, using equipment supplied by Huawei Technologies. The Chinese vendor has supplied the Russian firm with its end-to-end SingleRAN LTE/EPC solution, which it claims will provide theoretical download speeds of up to 70Mbps or 140Mbps, depending on the capacity of the radio channel (i.e. 10MHz or 20MHz).

In related news, Yota CEO Denis Sverdlov has told the Russian media that wireless giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is close to finalising an agreement to piggyback on Yota’s in-deployment national LTE network as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Although MTS was awarded a formal LTE licence covering Moscow in February this year, its spectrum requirements elsewhere remain contingent on it receiving frequencies in the government’s long-delayed auction. Rival operator MegaFon has already inked an LTE MVNO deal with Yota, while Rostelecom is believed to be keen to come to a similar arrangement with the emergent operator.

Russia, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Scartel (Yota)