Regulator issues plans on closing CDMA-800, awarding new 800MHz-900MHz licences

19 Dec 2019

Ukraine’s National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR, or NKRZI) has submitted its proposal to the State Special Communications Administration regarding the cessation of CDMA-800 mobile network technology. According to the regulator’s plan, the frequency ranges 834.15MHz-842.965MHz and 879.15MHz-887.965MHz must be freed from their existing CDMA usage by 1 July 2020, while the 824.07MHz-834.15MHz and 869.07MHz-879.15MHz bands may be used for CDMA in Ukraine until 1 January 2025. Frequencies will be reallocated for next-generation licensing.

Nationwide CDMA mobile provider Intertelecom – which is preparing to switch to 4G LTE technology – says that the plans will not affect its subscribers, Liga.net reports. Intertelecom stated: ‘a decision was made [by the NCCIR] to reallocate the frequency resource, which is planned to be completed by March 2020 with the issuance of licences to the participants of the process. After its completion (distribution), we will continue to provide services in the CDMA standard, as well as in the new LTE technology, without prejudice to existing subscribers.’

The NCCIR has also submitted to the State Special Communications Administration its proposed conditions for issuing new licences permitting 3G/4G services in frequency bands within the 791MHz-951MHz range to mobile operators next year, Liga.net reported. According to the plan, the average data transfer rate using the licensed frequencies should be 2Mbps, with network coverage requirements as follows:

• within 24 months coverage of every settlement with a population above 2,000 people, and total coverage of at least 90% of the national population (of all government-controlled areas of Ukraine)

• within 30 months all ‘international highways’

• within 48 months all ‘national highways’.

Note that also this week, Ukraine’s National Television & Radio Broadcasting Council has approved a draft plan to free up certain frequencies by redistributing spectrum used by TV broadcasters for mobile broadband services, including some within the 790MHz-862MHz band.