Chaos in the Kosmos as pay-TV firm shuts down after LTE spectrum compensation

21 Aug 2012

Kosmos TV, one of Russia’s longest established pay-TV operators, which provided Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) services to residents in Moscow and environs, using frequencies in the 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz spectrum band has been shut down after more than 20 years, reports. As per a long-gestating deal between the Russian regulatory authorities and Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema, which owns both Kosmos and mobile giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the frequencies in question have now been distributed to major telecoms players Vimpelcom, MegaFon, Rostelecom and Scartel (Yota), each of which is required to pay Kosmos RUB274 million (USD8.5 million) in compensation. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the overall compensation figure was originally estimated at around RUB1.5 billion; while the new amount is proportionally slightly lower, MTS was issued with a concession to utilise spectrum in the 2595MHz-2620MHz frequency band in Moscow in February this year, possibly accounting for the discrepancy between the figures.

It is believed that Kosmos TV only has around 35,000 subscribers and all existing customers are now being given the opportunity to switch to alternative services provide by sister company Moscow City Telephone Newtworks (MGTS). Kosmos was established in 1991 as a joint venture between Metromedia International and the then Moscow Television and Transmitter Centre; Metromedia’s stake was later sold to AFK Sistema.