SSTL holds off on LTE

12 Apr 2013

Russian-backed cellco Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), which operates under the MTS India brand, does not plan to invest in Long Term Evolution (LTE) in 2013, the company’s chief executive Mikhail Shamolin was quoted by Dow Jones Newswires as saying. The cellco plans to reach OIBDA breakeven before making investments in the technology. LTE was at the fore of the cellco’s strategy whilst repurchasing its concessions earlier this year. SSTL chose to bid for licences in circles with an early breakeven profile and where the coverage benefits of the 850MHz band can be leveraged for a competitive advantage. The provider estimates the cost of LTE deployment to be around USD200 million.