Beeline Uzbekistan, the country’s largest mobile provider by subscribers, has begun rolling out 4G LTE networks in 20 new cities, UzDaily writes. To support the rollout, Technical Director Evgeny Klyuchev said that the company is also increasing the capacity of its international channels to 8Gbps, with plans to increase that figure further as the company activates LTE services in new areas. The new cities to be covered by the deployment are as follows: Angren, Andijan, Bekabad, Bukhara, Gijduvan, Gulistan, Jizzakh, Zarafshan, Qarshi, Qoqand, Margilan, Navoi, Namangan, Nukus, Samarkand, Termez, Urgench, Ferghana, Khiva and Chirchiq.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Veon (formerly known as VimpelCom)-owned cellco first launched LTE services in the capital in September 2014, but prohibitively high pricing initially limited takeup. According to Beeline’s commercial director, however, the company is now looking to ensure that 4G is no longer a ‘premium service’ for subscribers, with the operator having lowered its prices and launching new promotions for 4G users. An LTE package now costs between USD40 and USD60 per month for between 15GB and 60GB of data – compared to more than USD1,000 per month for unlimited downloads at launch – and the operator is currently running a promotion doubling users’ 4G data allowances.