MTS, TriMob agree bilateral national roaming; similar Astelit-TriMob deal likely

20 Jan 2015

MTS Ukraine and TriMob, the cellular division of Ukrtelecom have signed an agreement enabling bilateral national voice and data roaming on each other’s 2G/3G networks, ProIT reports. MTS, Ukraine’s second largest cellco by subscribers, operates 2G GSM 900MHz/1800MHz and 3G CDMA-450 networks, while TriMob operates the country’s only UMTS (W-CDMA/HSPA) 3G 2100MHz network. The companies’ joint announcement confirmed that the roaming deal will give MTS users with 3G UMTS-compatible devices the opportunity to use TriMob’s 3G mobile internet data/network alongside 2G voice/data services on the MTS network without changing their SIM card. It is understood that the roaming arrangement will take effect in February 2015.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s third-placed mobile operator, Astelit (life :)) also aims to reach an agreement on bilateral 2G/3G national roaming with TriMob, according to Capital.ua, quoting representatives of Astelit who confirmed negotiations were taking place.

Prior to the latest announcements, TriMob had an existing national roaming deal with Ukraine’s mobile market leader Kyivstar, enabling TriMob subscribers to have nationwide (2G) coverage whilst allowing Kyivstar to resell TriMob’s 3G W-CDMA/HSPA internet/data services to its customers.

In mid-February Kyivstar, MTS Ukraine and Astelit expect to receive their own 3G 2100MHz UMTS operating licences, as they are the only approved bidders for the three concessions on offer (see separate CommsUpdate article today).