Ukraine’s dominant fixed line operator Ukrtelecom has begun work on its three-year infrastructure modernisation project in partnership with China’s Huawei Technologies, company director Yuriy Kurmaz confirmed in an interview with local online publication Novoe Vremya. Kurmaz stated: ‘This year we have started a large-scale modernisation process of Ukrtelecom’s technical infrastructure. The first results will be already seen by the end of this year. The program is designed for three years. Over this period, we will upgrade the access network in most cities and towns.’ As noted by its press service, in late December 2015 Ukrtelecom signed long-term strategic partnership agreements for financial and technical support with China Development Bank (CDB) and Huawei, with the aim of completing the modernisation of its network and accelerating the expansion of advanced telecoms facilities across Ukraine. The initial plans envisaged ‘massive network modernisation covering [the] six largest cities of Ukraine’ in the first phase, whilst a first tranche of credit amounted to USD50 million, with loan repayment to be completed in 2022.
The first phase plan also calls for a national network management structure with a main management centre in Kiev and a secondary branch in Dnepropetrovsk, plus the replacement of ADSL with faster local access platforms including VDSL and GPON/FTTH for internet speeds of up to 50Mbps and 1Gbps respectively. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Huawei has previously acted as one of Ukrtelecom’s major technology partners in rollouts including nationwide ADSL2+ expansion and a national DWDM fibre backbone (based on Cisco’s IP NGN core plus equipment from Juniper Networks and Huawei) connecting all regional (oblast) centres.