Russian national operator Rostelecom has announced that its board of directors has finally approved the company’s long-running acquisition of the Russian assets of FreshTel Group, which includes 100% stakes in Interproekt , Orion, Progress and Stolitsa, for a total cost of RUB210 million (USD4.1 million). As of 30 April 2015, FreshTel’s debt amounted to approximately RUB2.3 billion. FreshTel provides services to over 14,000 subscribers in 38 Russian towns. It has substantial frequency resources to provide WiMAX access in the 3.4GHz and 3.5GHz bands.
Sergey Kalugin, Rostelecom’s president, commented: ‘The acquisition of FreshTel is an important strategic step for us. Given the increasing competition in small and medium-sized cities, the main driver for future growth in the broadband segment is providing coverage to less densely populated areas in low rise buildings and compact single-storey settlements. Expanding the wire network for internet access in these areas is often economically inefficient, given what is involved to develop the network to the very last mile.’