Russia’s MegaFon has announced the commercial launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in South Ossetia. The new 4G network supports mobile broadband at maximum download speeds of up to 50Mbps. ‘Today, MegaFon in South Ossetia is an innovative operator in mobile data transfer. We have already made mobile internet on 3G technologies truly affordable for the residents of the republic,’ said the company’s CEO Oleg Savchuk, adding: ‘The infrastructure of our network is very well prepared for the transition to a new technological level. The launch of the 4G network offers our customers a new quality of internet service and access to all the currently known high-tech internet services.’ Outside of LTE coverage areas, subscribers with 4G-enabled devices will be able to continue using mobile broadband on the company’s 3G networks.
In April 2009 MegaFon completed the dual purchases of Ostelecom and Aquafon, a pair of mobile network operators situated in the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, respectively, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. The Russian cellco paid RUB935 million (USD28.5 million) for a 100% stake in Debton Investment Ltd, which owned 51% stakes in both Ostelecom and Aquafon. In March 2010 MegaFon increased its stake in Ostelecom from 51% to 75%.