FAS opposes 2.3GHz spectrum award for Rostelecom

18 Oct 2019

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has opposed the planned allocation of 2.3GHz-2.4GHz frequencies in 83 regions to Rostelecom under the ‘Digital Economy’ national programme, arguing that the spectrum should instead be put up for auction to raise ‘billions of rubles’, ComNews reports. Rostelecom intends to use the wireless broadband spectrum to connect schools, state bodies, territorial election commissions, medical facilities, fire and police stations, facilities of the Russian Guard and other locations, under a programme to connect around 100,000 ‘socially significant’ entities by the end of 2020.

The State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) plans to issue the 2.3GHz-2.4GHz LTE spectrum for ten years to Rostelecom in 83 regions, while in Russian-occupied Crimea, a similar ten-year concession is earmarked for internet provider Miranda-Media. The FAS argues that the ten-year concession period is excessive as the government contract to connect socially significant facilities only runs to end-2020. The antitrust authority also deems the bandwidth allocation excessively wide.