Yota Devices to launch LTE smartphone in Feb-13

14 Dec 2012

Yota Devices, a subsidiary of Russian WiMAX-turned-Long Term Evolution (LTE) operator Scartel (Yota), plans to present its first branded smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2013, CEO Vladislav Martynov has revealed to local media outlets. The Android-powered device will support GSM, 3G and LTE standards and potentially paves the way for the company – which already boasts wholesale LTE contracts with Russia’s self-styled ‘Big Three’ mobile operators (MegaFon, Vimpelcom and Mobile TeleSystems [MTS]) – to enter the Russian wireless market under its own steam.

Prior to switching its existing WiMAX subscriber base to LTE this spring, Yota had an estimated one million or so customers (up from a confirmed figure of 731,500 in March 2011), putting it in pole position in the domestic 4G sector; according to an unconfirmed report by Vedomosti from August this year, Yota had already signed up around 600,000 LTE subscribers by that date. The company expects to cover 180 Russian cities with LTE technology by 2014.

Russia, Scartel (Yota)