T2 RTC Holding, the joint venture (JV) of Russian state-owned telco Rostelecom and Tele2 Russia, aims to launch mobile services in the capital Moscow in the middle of next year, noting that it will install around 4,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) to support the launch. Vedomsti cites people familiar with the matter as saying that the JV’s strategy is to launch commercially in either the second or third quarter of 2015. The company will be offering both 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the capital, as there are no available spectrum resources for it launch a GSM-based 2G network. According to the unnamed source, T2 RTC Holding intends to build approximately 400 BTS per month – a fact which the paper says was subsequently confirmed by another person ‘close’ to the JV. The name of the network supplier has not been disclosed, with Rostelecom noting only that it is a ‘long term partner’ of the company.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in August this year Rostelecom completed the second and final stage of its deal to create a new national mobile operator in association with Tele2 Russia. As such, Rostelecom transferred 100% of its shares in its subsidiary CJSC RT-Mobile to T2 RTC Holding. As part of the deal Rostelecom spun off its integrated mobile assets into RT-Mobile and had its licences reissued to the new entity. After incorporating the relevant amendments into the JV’s charter, Rostelecom holds a 45% stake in the JV’s share capital.
During the first stage of the deal, which was completed on 28 March 2014, Rostelecom transferred its shares in Sky Link and its other mobile subsidiaries to the JV, along with the assets located in its so-called ‘start-up regions’, which are said to include Moscow and St Petersburg. In addition to the assets ‘Rostelecom gave the company a solid reserve of frequencies, including in Moscow, where it holds frequencies in the 700MHz-800MHz, 1.9MHz-2.1GHz, 2.3GHz-2.4GHz and 2.5GHz-2.6GHz bands.