Cellcos sign contracts paying off military for 3G frequencies

28 Apr 2015

Ukraine’s largest mobile operator by users Kyivstar has signed the contract for converting 2100MHz frequencies from military to commercial 3G mobile usage, representing the final step in the UMTS licensing process, with the other two recent 3G licence winners MTS Ukraine and Astelit (life:)) expected to have signed similar contracts as per the stipulations of their 15-year concession awards in February. Ukrainian online journal ITExpert reports that the contract signing was carried out with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Service for Special Communications, while noting that the military reduced the initial ‘release period’ under the contract to four years from a previously stated five. Furthermore, the cost of radio frequency conversion to be paid by Kyivstar under the contract has increased from the original projections due to inflation/devaluation, and is currently set at around UAH715 million (USD31 million), payable in three instalments and subject to further currency effects; this takes the estimated cost of conversion for all three new 3G licences to above UAH2.1 billion, up from initial estimates of UAH1.6 billion.

Third-largest Ukrainian cellco life:) is advertising on its website an offer for all customers to register in advance for its upcoming 3G service, which it promises ‘in the summer’; those signing up for preliminary 3G registration by 15 May will receive an initial 1GB of free 3G mobile internet usage.