Russia round-up: Osnova owner disputes MoD frequency plans; Antares LTE hearing postponed

12 Feb 2013

Osnova Telekom’s major shareholder Aikominvest, which is controlled by businessman Vitaly Yusufov, sees no grounds upon which to revoke the Long Term Evolution (LTE) frequencies it was granted by the State Radio Frequency Commission (SRFC). Prime Tass Business News quotes a company spokesperson as saying: ‘The Defence Ministry cannot refuse radio frequencies, because they do not belong to the ministry and were assigned to Osnova Telekom, according to a ruling by the SRFC’. The statement was released to counter media reports that newly appointed minister of defence Sergei Shoigu had asked President Vladimir Putin to cancel Osnova’s LTE frequencies in the 2.3GHz-2.4GHz spectrum band and redistribute them as part of a tender.

In other news, the Moscow Arbitration Court has postponed the hearing for a lawsuit filed by Antares Telecom relating to its use of legacy 1900MHz frequencies for LTE, until 4 March. The hearing has been delayed because the defendants failed to prepare their statements in time, the court’s representatives told RIA Novosti. In May 2012 the Federal Supervision Agency IT, Communications & Media (Roskomnadzor) granted Antares Telecom permission to use its long-held frequencies in the 1900MHz-1920MHz spectrum band to deploy a network based on LTE technology. The frequencies are held by the Russian firm and its regional subsidiaries Arktur and Integral, and were originally handed to the companies in early-2008, covering the period from 18 April 2008 to 18 April 2013.