Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has launched 2600MHz TD-LTE services in St Petersburg, augmenting its existing FDD-based 4G services in the city – the first to receive MTS’ TD-LTE coverage outside Moscow. As reported by TelecomDaily, MTS intends to offer FDD/TDD LTE carrier aggregation for increased capacity and better quality indoor coverage in St Petersburg and other cities/regions, similar to existing services launched in the capital last year; however, smartphone support is currently limited to a small range of high-end devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows that MTS’ TD-LTE network (initially aimed largely at modem users) has been live in Moscow since September 2012 (currently covering the metropolitan area and at least 40 towns in the Moscow Region), whilst in February 2016 MTS won a 2600MHz TD-LTE licence covering the entire remaining territory of the Russian Federation excluding the Crimea peninsula (i.e. 81 regions) with 25MHz bandwidth. MTS outbid MegaFon and Beeline to pay RUB3.97 billion (USD67 million) for the concession, 35% above the reserve price. MTS boasts commercial FDD-LTE coverage across 83 regions.