Russia round-up: Crimea GSM frequencies could be auctioned in six months; TTK launches WiMAX in five cities; MNP total approaches 1m; MGTS GPON upgrade set to conclude in 2015

7 Oct 2014

GSM frequencies in the Crimean Federal District could potentially be auctioned within the next four-to-six months, InterFax reports, quoting Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor. Zharov has reportedly noted that the State Radio Frequency Commission (SRFC) has yet to make a final decision on the auction, but is now in receipt of the relevant documentation. Spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands is expected to go under the hammer in Crimea, which was subject to a major territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine earlier this year, ending in the territory’s annexation by Russia.

TransTeleCom (TTK) has switched on its 3500MHz WiMAX network in five cities, namely: Kostroma, Engels and Balakovo (all Saratov Oblast), Yelets (Lipetsk Oblast) and Ukhta (Komi Republic). The frequencies were secured by a number of TTK’s regional subsidiaries back in September 2011 as part of Roskomnadzor’s spectrum auction.

The number of mobile number portability (MNP) applications in Russia has reached 970,697, ComNews reports, citing data from the Central Research Institute of Communications. Of this figure 657,001 have already been processed. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MNP was soft-launched in Russia on 1 December 2013 and went live on 15 April 2014.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has confirmed that its wireline subsidiary Moscow City Telephone Company (MGTS) is poised to complete its Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) upgrade programme by the end of 2015. In other news, CEO Andrei Dubovskov told Global Telecoms Business that MTS itself expects to have LTE coverage in around 600 cities by the end of 2014. Up to 50% of data traffic in major cities is already carried by LTE, he added.

Russian Towers has announced that it has secured a ten-year credit line worth RUB2 billion (USD50.2 million) from the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB). Under the terms of the agreement, Russian Towers will use the funds to finance the development of its telecoms infrastructure throughout Russia. In particular, the firm will finance the construction and modernisation of antenna-mast structures, designed for joint operation of mobile network operators. It is expected that the financing provided by the EDB will enable Russian Towers to increase its portfolio of facilities to 2,000 sites by the end of 2016, up from 1,000 sites as of the end of 2014.

MTS has selected SIAE MICROELETTRONICA as one of the wireless millimetre wave technology suppliers for its LTE backhaul network. The deployment of ‘ALFOplus80HD’ technology will cover several geographical regions of operation. The company, in partnership with systems integrator Rotek, has deployed several hundred ALFOplus80HD links, which are said to be capable of multi Gigabit transmission.

Vimpelcom Group CEO Jo Lunder has told Global Telecoms Business that the company has achieved the target for CAPEX synergies that it set three years ago.

Russian WiMAX operator Prestige Internet, working under the Enforta brand, has announced that its corporate subscribers base has reached 52,000.