The head of Ukraine’s National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR or NKRZI), Peter Yatsuk, has indicated that 2100MHz 3G mobile frequencies could be released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for licence awards to all major cellcos in the country ‘before the end of the year’. A report by BizLigaNet quotes the official as saying that the telecoms regulator and the State Service of Special Communication & Information Protection (Gosspetssvyazi) will work together to prepare necessary amendments to the plan for usage of radio frequency resources by June 2013, and ‘maybe’ reach the stage of launching a competitive licence auction by the end of the year. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows that the statement echoes similar announcements in past years as various government departments including the NKRZI, the MoD, the infrastructure ministry and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) failed to conclude the process of reallocating 2100MHz frequencies from military to commercial usage. The main sticking point over the years has been the inability to reach a consensus over the price for the spectrum conversion, but according to Kommersant Ukraine, in recent months the NKRZI has been in ‘constructive dialogue’ with the MoD.
Ukrtelecom (which was at the time state-owned) was handed the country’s sole UMTS licence in 2005 with no auction or tender, despite protests from the two largest mobile operators, Kyivstar and MTS Ukraine that the award was illegal.