Government ‘excluding Russian owned companies’ from 3G bidding

11 Sep 2014

Ukraine’s telecoms regulator, the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR or NKRZI) has approved a draft Cabinet decree which ostensibly bans operators with more than 50% Russian ownership from bidding in the upcoming planned 3G UMTS mobile licence tender, reports ProIT citing Ukrainian News. Three licences are expected to be on offer – potentially enabling all the main GSM operators – MTS Ukraine, Kyivstar and Astelit (life:) – to join Ukrtelecom (TriMob) in the UMTS network operating segment, while the possibility of a CDMA-based mobile operator such as Intertelecom competing for a licence has also been mooted. However, the newly approved draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers reportedly excludes MTS Ukraine, which is a 100% subsidiary of Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), although there was no mention in the report of the possibility of banning Kyivstar, part of Vimpelcom Ltd – which although headquartered in the Netherlands and listed in New York, remains majority controlled by Russian shareholders.