Ukrainian mobile operator Lifecell has announced that it will launch 1800MHz 4G LTE network services in 232 settlements across all 25 regions of the country on 1 July. Furthermore, by the end of this year Lifecell said it will cover 1,500 settlements with LTE-1800, representing around 50% of the Ukrainian population, reports Liga.net. Since launching 2600MHz LTE services on 30 March, Lifecell – part of the Turkcell group – has covered 27 settlements with 421 LTE-2600 base stations.
Vodafone Ukraine, which similarly launched LTE-2600 in major cities on 30 March, has also this week disclosed its LTE-1800 launch plans. On 1 July the Russian-backed cellco intends to switch on LTE-1800 for compatible smartphone/SIM users in around 50 settlements of ten regions, listed as: Kiev city, Kiev region, Kharkiv, Zaporozhye, Odessa, Mykolayiv, Poltava, Sumy, Kirovograd and Kherson. The initial footprint will be expanded significantly in due course, the company added.
Ukraine’s largest cellco by subscribers Kyivstar, which launched LTE-2600 slightly after its main rivals (on 6 April, in 20 cities/settlements), is also expected to introduce LTE-1800 in July. Kyivstar won the largest block of 1800MHz spectrum at auction in March (2×35MHz compared to 2×25MHz for Vodafone and 2×15MHz for Lifecell).