Intertelecom suing regulator for cancelling LTE licence

3 Apr 2020

Ukrainian CDMA mobile operator Intertelecom is launching a legal case against the National Commission for State Regulation of Communications & Informatization (NCCIR/NKRZI) for cancelling its 4G spectrum licence, while the company will be forced to give up certain regional 3G CDMA frequencies under spectrum refarming agreements between the country’s main cellcos and the regulator, reports Liga.Tech. Intertelecom must now disconnect 9-15 channels in the Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Volyn regions and will have to deactivate base stations in these areas due to losing frequency rights, or else face regulatory sanctions for illegally operating equipment.

The NCCIR announced on 1 April 2020 that it would cancel the LTE licence it had allocated to Intertelecom due to non-payment of the licence fees. On 7 February 2020 Intertelecom was given the green light from the NCCIR to receive a 4G operating licence and begin a national LTE network rollout using refarmed 800MHz-850MHz spectrum whilst continuing to support existing CDMA users. However, by the 1 April payment deadline the NCCIR confirmed that Intertelecom was yet to pay UAH193.6 million (USD6.88 million) in licensing fees, having handed over just UAH1 million.

The launch of LTE by Intertelecom was intended to form part of the programme of 800MHz-900MHz frequency redistribution/refarming between four operators including GSM players Kyivstar, Vodafone and Lifecell alongside the CDMA provider. The GSM trio paid for their newly reallocated technology-neutral 900MHz spectrum licences last month, gaining permission to launch LTE-900 services from 1 July 2020.