PEOPLEnet scraps Rev B due to low demand

29 Oct 2013

Ukrainian CDMA mobile operator Telesystems (PEOPLEnet) has stopped providing a premium speed mobile internet service based on the CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev B technology standard due to low consumer demand, its technical director Vladislav Hajiyev disclosed. As reported by news agency LigaBusinessInform, the company has dismantled the Rev B segment of its network, having ended the terms of its licence for the equipment supplied by Huawei Technologies. Hajiyev claimed that ‘users are not willing to pay for improved speed and user equipment is expensive,’ quoting retail Rev B end-user device prices of between UAH650 and UAH800 (USD78-USD97), which is 30%-40% costlier than devices for its 1xEV-DO Rev A network.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that PEOPLEnet’s Rev A network covers all 27 Ukrainian regions, 425 main cities/towns, and at least 5,300 total settlements, providing mobile internet access at theoretical maximum speeds of 3.1Mbps, with average real-world speeds ranging from 300kbps to 700kbps, while offering the option of a ‘2 in 1’ voice service allowing the use of fixed and mobile numbers in one phone.

In January 2011 PEOPLEnet revealed its intention to launch a test Rev B network, offering faster theoretical maximum speeds of 14.7Mbps, although according to the latest disclosure, the Rev B rollout reached no further than Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa city centre. Rival CDMA operator Intertelekom, meanwhile, has expanded its Rev B network services to all 27 regions, with a varied device range including the Apple iPad 4 model with support for Rev B launched for its customers in October 2013 via its own retail stores. Another larger rival, MTS Ukraine, although predominantly a GSM mobile operator, also operates an EV-DO Rev A mobile internet/data network in 360 locations across the country, which has been upgraded to Rev B in the capital Kyiv and its surrounds, GlobalComms adds.