Ukraine’s plan for an 800MHz-900MHz 4G LTE mobile network rollout has been delayed due to CDMA operator Intertelecom’s lack of funds to pay its licensing fee, a report from Liga.Tech claims, citing unnamed market sources. GSM operators Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and Lifecell are all expected to receive new technology-neutral 900MHz licences with redistributed frequency bands this month, allowing the launch of LTE-900 services to augment coverage of their existing 4G networks, while Intertelecom is planning an LTE rollout using an 850MHz-900MHz spectrum allocation, and it had been hoped it would begin deployment before its three larger rivals. However, according to the report’s sources Intertelecom is currently unable to pay a UAH180 million (USD6.75 million) licensing fee, with a shortfall of funds blamed on a recent failed attempt to sell a stake in the CDMA provider.
Bohdan Piven of Ukraine’s National Commission for State Regulation of Communications & Informatization (NCCIR/ NKRZI) was quoted as saying simply: ‘There is no confirmation of payment from Intertelecom. We are working on further solutions.’ Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and Lifecell are meanwhile expected to pay for their tech-neutral 900MHz concessions by the end of March.