Astelit confirmed as gaining nationwide CDMA-800 licence, as operators form national network sharing plans

30 Oct 2012

Ukraine’s telecoms regulator the NCCIR has confirmed that cellco Astelit (life:)) has been allocated 5MHz of CDMA-800 frequencies in each of Ukraine’s 27 regions following negotiations on redistributing 800MHz spectrum amongst existing CDMA licence holders. Astelit, which intends to use the frequencies for nationwide mobile broadband internet services, had previously been issued with twelve regional licences with various bandwidths to replace legacy D-AMPS concessions, but has gained an extra 15 regions via the refarming process. Existing nationwide CDMA mobile broadband operator Intertelecom has been allocated 20MHz of CDMA-800 spectrum in five regions, 17.5MHz in 20 regions, 15MHz in one region and 10.5MHz in a single region, under its renewed licences, the NCCIR’s decision confirmed. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Intertelecom already serves all 27 regions with 3.5G EV-DO mobile data services. Although rival national 800MHz network operator ITC (CDMA UA, including Velton Telecom) was included in the regulator’s previous announcement regarding the refarming of nationwide CDMA spectrum under renewed licences, there was no indication of any changes to ITC’s allocations in the most recently published decision. GlobalComms says that ITC provides CDMA2000 1x/EV-DO Rev A services in 26 out of 27 regions under the CDMA UA (formerly CDMA Ukraine) banner, while another CDMA-800 network operator, PEOPLEnet, has a mobile broadband presence in all 27 regions based on 1xEV-DO Rev A technology. All operators are considering moves to develop 4G LTE-based services if the regulator will support the evolution with technology-neutral licensing.

Following the CDMA refarming decision, Intertelecom, ITC and Astelit have begun negotiations on infrastructure sharing to provide full nationwide mobile broadband coverage, revealed Astelit’s director general, Alexander Barinov, quoted by Kommersant-Ukraine. According to Barinov, CDMA infrastructure cooperation will include the joint usage of towers and transmission ducts. Previously, in August 2012 Intertelecom and ITC signed an agreement on joint sales of services, based on commission fees.