Russia round-up: Rostelecom deploys 18k ETTH ports in Volgograd; MTS rolls out FOCL in Sakhalin Oblast; InterZet integration complete; MegaFon to increase 3G capacity in Tambov; Beeline launches 4G LTE network in Tyumen

9 Dec 2014

ComNews reports that Rostelecom is deploying more than 18,000 new Ethernet-to-the-home (ETTH) broadband ports in the Volgograd region. Under the expansion, Rostelecom customers in the districts of Volgograd and Gumrak, Krasnoslabodska, Lenin, Frolov and RP Chernishkovski, will be able to access the new service, it said.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has kicked off the first phase of a major fibre-optic network rollout in Sakhalin Oblast. The new 100km fibre-optic communication line (FOCL), dubbed ‘Dolinsk – Seashore’, has allowed MTS to increase network bandwidth capacity up to 10Gbps with scalable capacity up to 100Gbps. Going forward, MTS plans to further extend its FOCLs in the region to a total length of more than 800km.

The fixed line telecoms provider InterZet, whose assets were acquired by ER-Telecom Holding in 2013, has released its first update since its takeover late last year. Speaking at a conference in St Petersburg, ER-Telecom CEO Sergei Gusev confirmed that his firm – which launched in 2010 – initially set out its stall to grow organically, but 18 months ago decided to stop expanding its own ‘Dom’ru’ brand in St Petersburg, and instead look to further develop its subscriber base via acquisitions. As a result, it purchased InterZet and from 2 December 2013 the pair became a single entity. One year on, Gusev says that the integration is now 100% complete at an infrastructure level – with the operator only retaining the InterZet brand as part of a co-branding strategy. By acquiring InterZet’s assets in all key areas of St Petersburg and Leningrad region, ER-Telecom boosted its coverage base by 1.8 million households and picked up 678,000 new subscribers.

MegaFon is looking to increase the capacity of its mobile communication networks in the Tambov region to improve voice call quality in and around the areas of Dynamo Stadium, Pioneer Park, City Quay, Central Market, Derzhavin and two large universities. As part of the upgrade, the cellco also plans to increase average mobile broadband internet speeds on the 3G network up to 15Mbps.

The latest mobile operator to dip its toe in the 4G market in Tyumen, Ural region, is Vimpelcom (Beeline) which has launched a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the 2600MHz band, initially covering around 80% of the city – with a focus on high traffic demand areas in the city centre. The carrier says users can expect to see peak download speeds of up to 70Mbps, although typical average throughput will be in the range of 10Mbps-20Mbps, it said.