5G joint venture agreement signed by major cellcos; state participation proposed

16 Dec 2019

Russia’s three largest mobile operators MTS, MegaFon and Beeline (VimpelCom) alongside Rostelecom (parent of fourth-placed cellco Tele2 Russia) last week signed an agreement of intent for the joint development and optimal usage of 5G mobile networks. The parties are exploring options for sharing priority 5G frequency ranges where there is an acute spectrum deficit, including the possibility of creating a joint venture with each operator holding equal shares, TelecomDaily reported. Oleg Ivanov, Deputy Minister of Communications, was quoted as proposing ‘the option of a golden share or other form of state control’ over any resultant joint venture, which would require regulatory approval before being established. Frequency bands being studied by the cellcos include – but are not limited to – the 700MHz, 3.4GHz-3.8GHz, 4.4GHz-4.99GHz and 24.25GHz-29.5GHz ranges.