Ukraine’s government has issued a decree (No. 547 of 26 June 2019) which permits fixed operators to provide commercial fixed-wireless telephony services using a mixture of their own fixed infrastructure and cellular mobile networks for local access connectivity, Liga.net reports. The move will immediately benefit nationwide fixed line operator Ukrtelecom, which launched a pilot service in August 2018 connecting fixed telephony users over its 3G cellular subsidiary TriMob’s network. Ukrtelecom users are issued with specialised fixed handsets and the same tariff plans as regular fixed telephony subscribers, whilst telecoms regulator the NCCIR recently adopted amendments to regulations on numbering resources allowing fixed operators to provide convergent services.
The joint Ukrtelecom/TriMob fixed-wireless service has multiple benefits for the group: combating rampant copper theft in areas across the country and enabling Ukrtelecom to shut down uneconomical sections of its fixed infrastructure, whilst representing an alternative way to gain value from the struggling mobile division, which the group previously failed to divest. The Liga.net report surmises that TriMob’s national mobile roaming agreement with larger cellco Vodafone Ukraine may also be utilised to extend coverage of converged services.