Russia develops RAN sharing plan to bolster coverage and eliminate the digital divide between regions

5 Nov 2014

The Ministry of Communications (MinSvyaz) in Russia has released details on its plan to allow radio access network (RAN) sharing between mobile operators, a move that ComNews says has been broadly supported by the country’s main players. Speaking at the V International Conference for Managed Services, ministry official Mikhail Hazov said that MinSvyaz hopes the plan will nurture improved coverage of radio frequency (RF) mobile communications, as well as facilitating and eliminating the digital divide between Russia’s regions. Additionally, the move will allow mobile network operators to reduce the overall cost of network construction in sparsely populated and remote areas of the Russian Federation,’ Hazov said.

MinSvyaz has been working on plans to implement RAN sharing for a number of years, including a decision in April 2012 relating to a change in rules on the construction of communications networks, specifically applying to rules concerning base station equipment, repeaters, and frequency division duplexing and code division duplexing spacing on UMTS networks. A subsequent measure was enacted in December that year allowing for a change in the construction of public switched telephone networks, and in March 2014 another amendment was put in place concerning base station application subsystems and repeater networks for GSM-900/1800 networks and for Long Term Evolution (LTE). April 2014 saw the approval of changes to the rules of application of GSM networks in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, he said, and on 12 May the agency amended the rules for the implementation of subscriber terminals in LTE networks. As a result of all the changes, Hazov stated that much of the legal framework for RAN sharing has now been prepared.