Russia round-up: 10,500 LTE BTS deployed; FAS approves JV; MOTIV snags LTE permission for Urals

14 Mar 2014

Long Term Evolution (LTE) base stations have been deployed in a total of 50 Russian regions, the LTE Union industry group has announced. Russian technology website Digit.ru reports that around 10,500 LTE base transceiver stations (BTS) were deployed during 2013, broken down as follows: 2,337 BTS use the 791-862MHz band, while 8,165 base stations utilise the 2530MHz-2680MHz band.

Regional mobile operator MOTIV has received a licence to offer LTE services in the Urals, it has announced. The licence renewal period took two months, the cellco noted, but it is now permitted to deploy 4G technology in Yekaterinburg, Kurgan, Yugra and Yamal-Nenets regions, with commercial activity expected by the end of the year.

According to an unconfirmed report by Digit.ru, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has granted Rostelecom permission to proceed with its previously announced joint venture (JV) with Tele2 Russia. In January this year, shareholders in Russian national operator Rostelecom voted in favour of plans to spin off the company’s mobile assets into a new entity called RT-Mobile, which will also encompass Tele2’s wireless assets.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has secured a USD300 million export guarantee to fund the purchase of network equipment from Ericsson. The credit facility has been arranged with Citibank and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), and is supported by Sweden’s Exportkreditnamnden (EKN). MTS said that the amounts may be drawn by the company over the next twelve months and will be linked to equipment purchases for the development of MTS’s LTE networks.