Russian mobile operator MegaFon has signed a cooperation agreement with the country’s dominant national fixed network operator Rostelecom to jointly develop 5G networks to reduce the cost of rollout, a press release stated. MegaFon and Rostelecom say they will ‘develop optimal scenarios for rolling out 5G networks based on international experience and subject to the specifics of the Russian mobile communications market’. The pair are considering the possibility of setting up a joint venture that would act as a single infrastructure operator for 5G network construction.
MegaFon and Rostelecom are setting up a working group to propose options for rolling out 5G networks in the 3.4GHz-3.6GHz and 26GHz frequency bands. MegaFon is the first cellco to obtain the 3400MHz-3800MHz and 25.25GHz-29.50GHz bands to deploy test 5G zones for the FIFA 2018 football World Cup in Russia, whilst the release adds that ‘Rostelecom has the necessary network infrastructure, radio frequencies and project experience’. Earlier, Rostelecom signed an agreement to build 5G networks located in hi-tech city Innopolis, and at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre and the State Hermitage Museum.