Russian mobile operator T2 RTC Holding, a joint venture between Tele2 Russia and Rostelecom which uses the Tele2 Russia brand name, has launched 3G commercially in the city of Novosibirsk, using network infrastructure formerly owned by Rostelecom. The city becomes the second area to receive 3G mobile services after Tele2 Russia switched on its UMTS network in St Petersburg last week. Tele2 Russia says its new network provides 3G coverage in the territory of Novosibirsk Berdsk, Obi and another 20 large settlements of Novosibirsk region. In the coming months, the operator plans to increase the number of 3G base stations in and around Novosibirsk by 30% and improve the capabilities of the transport network to expand coverage and ensure the high quality of mobile services in peak periods.
By the end of the year 3G services from Tele2 will also be available in Tambov and Chelyabinsk, while in 2015/16 it plans to make 3G available in most of regions where it is present. According to the firm’s Alexander Provotorova, T2 RTC Holding is undertaking a three-year nationwide investment programme to build out about 80,000 3G and 4G base stations. However, the official stopped short of divulging the level of investments it is planning to make. It also plans to launch a 4G-network based on LTE-1800 in Tula.