Regional Russian mobile operator Baikalwestcom (BWC), a subsidiary of state-backed Rostelecom, has announced that it has expanded the coverage of its 3G network to two new cities in the Irkutsk region, namely Tayshet and Ust-Kut. BWC, which claims to be the largest mobile operator in eastern Siberia with around 2.2 million subscribers, commenced operations in 1995 and now covers around 700 settlements across the Irkutsk territory.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in November 2012 the cellco inaugurated commercial HSPA+ services across ‘several cities and towns’, representing parent Rostelecom’s first activities in the 3G sector. The network, which supports downlink transmission speeds of up to 21Mbps, comprised 300 base stations at launch, with further expansions planned for the first quarter of 2013. As previously stated, Rostelecom is planning to launch 3G services in 26 Russian regions in 2013.