Ukraine’s leading CDMA-based mobile operator Intertelecom has finalised its exit from the Russian-controlled Crimea region, having completed negotiations for the sale of its remaining CDMA network assets in the peninsula, it announced on its website. Intertelecom did not name the buyer, but indicated that it has signed an agreement with a company based in the Bashkortostan region of Russia for the sale of property and network equipment valued at around USD1.5 million including 100 base stations and transmission/backbone infrastructure. Intertelecom was the last Ukrainian mobile operator to remain involved in providing services in Crimea, although as CommsUpdate reported in October 2014 the firm officially transferred its operations in the peninsula to a newly founded Russian company, International Telecommunications (Intertelecom), which had been licensed by Russian regulator Roskomnadzor.
Intertelecom (Ukraine) also notes that in May 2015 it disconnected the Crimea region (which includes the separately administered city of Sevastopol) from its switching and network management centre located in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa. The Intertelecom (Crimea) website currently indicates (in an announcement dated 15 July 2015) that it has begun installation and commissioning of new network equipment, and that ‘in the near future data services will be carried out in the usual format’. Previously (following the disconnection from the Ukrainian switching network), in May the Russian-registered operator told its subscribers that it was forced to temporarily terminate CDMA services, pending the completion of work to reconstruct the network and ‘bring it in line with the law’. The company added that it would ‘take all necessary measures for the resumption of the provision of CDMA services [for] residents of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol’ within ‘a short time’. Existing CDMA user equipment will continue to work in the reconstructed network, it added. Should Intertelecom (Crimea) continue to use the 800MHz band for CDMA mobile services it would be the only service of its type in the Russia Federation. Previously, all Russian CDMA-800 mobile services ceased operating by 2010 under a regulatory policy, while more recently the band has begun to be utilised for LTE.