Russian cellco MegaFon has released details on some of its network expansion plans this year, including a bid to deliver an additional 400 2G/3G base transceiver stations (BTS) and 700 Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) BTS in the Southern, North-Caucasian and Central Federal Districts. According to ComNews, MegaFon is focusing its expansion drive on developing its LTE-A capabilities, with 40% of its investment committed to 4G, compared to 15% for older, slower technologies. In addition, the carrier plans to increase its fibre-optic communication lines in the regions mentioned by more than 450km this year. So far in 2015, MegaFon has deployed LTE-A in Voronezh and Vladikavkaz, providing peak speeds of up to 100Mbps.
In a separate development, rival operator Vimpelcom (Beeline) has commercially launched its fourth-generation LTE network in Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. From launch, the 4G network is available to more than 90% of the population in the city and its environs, providing peak download data speeds of over 70Mbps and typical throughput of 18Mbps-20Mbps. Vimpelcom regional director of the South and the North Caucasus region, Viktor Pavlov, says that currently the Beeline-branded 4G network is live in the South and the North Caucasus region, as well as in the Stavropol Territory, Rostov and Astrakhan region, Republic of Kalmykia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and Adygea.