Russian nationwide fixed line giant Rostelecom and major cellco MegaFon have established a joint venture company to develop 5G network infrastructure, reports TelecomDaily citing Rostelecom head Mikhail Oseevsky. State-owned industrial conglomerate Rostec has also been reported to be part of the joint venture plans, although has not yet joined the consortium, whilst proposals have been aired to include other mobile operators in the venture. Development of projects for the digital economy is top priority for the partnership, followed by mass market 5G development in the future.
Since a November 2017 partnership agreement, MegaFon and Rostelecom have been conducting 5G trials and pilots in various test spectrum bands including the 2600MHz, 3.5GHz and 26GHz ranges. This week, MegaFon CEO Gevork Vermishyan was quoted as saying that the new 5G joint venture can play an important role in coordinating the usage of the coveted 3.4GHz-3.8GHz range which is currently shared between various users and sectors, saying that the situation requires ‘a single negotiator, a single moderator … to interact with the regulator [on] conversion, spectrum release, sharing conditions, etc’.