Ukraine’s largest cellco by users Kyivstar, which is in the process of rolling out a 3G UMTS network following the country’s recent licence awards, has highlighted the future-proof Single RAN network design of the new infrastructure, which will enable it to rapidly deploy LTE whenever it is authorised. A release on the operator’s website notes that the Single RAN platform will allow the upgrade to LTE without replacing hardware and only by updating software, as the base stations already support 2G GSM, 3G UMTS and 4G LTE.
Kyivstar also gave an update on the 3G rollout progress, noting that it has already converted its network switching to a 3G-ready platform, incorporating some 70 switches and more than 100 MGW (media gateway) units, which are also LTE-compatible. For further support of 3G mobile data traffic, 30% of the access network has been switched to a single all-IP infrastructure thus far.
In a related report, Kyivstar has confirmed receipt of the first tranche of funding (an initial USD80 million) from its Russian-backed parent group Vimpelcom for the rollout of its 3G network in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, rival MTS Ukraine, which has joined Kyivstar in offering roaming-based UMTS services over the network of Ukrtelecom (TriMob) as a precursor to its own W-CDMA/HSPA network launch, has confirmed that the data package pricing which it introduced for the resold service will remain in place for services over its own network when it launches.