Presidential decree calls for rapid 800MHz/900MHz redistribution

12 Jul 2019

Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has signed a decree on the redistribution of mobile frequencies in the 900MHz GSM and 800MHz-850MHz CDMA bands for 3G/4G LTE usage, with the aim of narrowing the digital divide between cites and rural areas. As reported by Liga.net, the decree calls for the ‘release’ of the 790MHz-862MHz band for 3G/4G LTE by 1 August 2019, followed by the 880MHz-915MHz/925MHz-960MHz band by 1 October 2019, under an action plan supposedly agreed with telecoms regulator the NCCIR – although the presidential order did not specify any mechanism for the redistribution. The decree has unclear consequences for Ukraine’s leading CDMA operator Intertelecom which owns part of the 800MHz-850MHz spectrum in question and uses it on a national basis for its 3G EV-DO-based services, whilst smaller CDMA player PEOPLEnet also uses the frequencies in a handful of areas. Intertelecom and GSM operators Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and Lifecell are involved in an ongoing process overseen by the NCCIR to redistribute the 800MHz-900MHz bands amongst themselves under technology-neutral licences. Kyivstar owns the largest share of GSM-900 spectrum.

Ukraine, Intertelecom (incl. Velton), Kyivstar