President backs 3G, 4G licensing initiative

10 Jul 2014

The President of Ukraine, Petr Poroshenko has firmly backed plans to push through the long-delayed awards of 3G/4G mobile network operating licences ‘to help the economy’, reports On 8 July Ukraine’s National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR or NKRZI) issued a decision to finalise the tender conditions for 3G/4G operating licences by the end of the month, and Poroshenko declared his support for the plan, stating: ‘4G is not just a communication technology. This is the impetus for the economy, which enriches the budget, reforms the government procurement and so on … There are areas where we can get a quick result today, for example, the introduction of modern technologies of 3G and 4G. This should give a boost to economic development.’ Another report, from Ukrainian News, quotes the president as declaring: ‘Today, we must firmly demonstrate that Ukraine is a country of ultrafast, most efficient technologies,’ while claiming that 4G technology had not been implemented in Ukraine earlier due to ‘corruption’. The president also urged the development of e-government systems, alongside calls for slimming down the civil service, anti-corruption measures and reforms in the areas of policing, tax and the judiciary.

TeleGeography notes that competitive 3G licensing has been held up for years in Ukraine by the failure to agree terms on releasing 2100MHz UMTS spectrum from military usage, leaving Ukrtelecom (TriMob) as the sole UMTS licensee, whilst NCCIR plans to convert existing 900MHz and 1800MHz GSM mobile frequency licences to technology-neutral concessions – thereby allowing 3G UMTS-900 and 4G LTE-1800 service launches – have also been delayed. Furthermore, rival cellcos have argued over details of the proposals of largest spectrum block holder Kyivstar to refarm the 900MHz/1800MHz frequencies. Meanwhile, the NCCIR has requested assistance from the government and the National Television & Radio Broadcasting Council in implementing proposals to release the ‘digital dividend’ 790MHz-862MHz (800MHz) radio frequency band from TV broadcasting usage and reallocate it for 4G LTE mobile broadband, using the directives of the European Union as a model.