Aquafon GSM, a Russian-backed mobile operator in the north-western breakaway republic of Abkhazia, has announced the commercial launch of 4G LTE services. In a press release on its website, the company says the network currently provides coverage to all major cities in the region, but will be expanded to all localities by the end of the year. The new 4G service will enable customers to surf the internet at maximum download speeds of 64Mbps. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Aquafon demonstrated LTE technology in Sukhumi towards the end of 2010 and the cellco was awarded a licence to operate a 4G network in July 2013. Russia’s MegaFon took control of Aquafon in March 2009 by paying RUB935 million (USD28.2 million) for a 100% stake in Debton Investment Ltd, the holder of 51% stakes in both Aquafon and South Ossetia-based operator Ostelecom.