Ministry wants to allocate 4.8GHz 5G band to a single operator; cellcos remain sceptical

12 Oct 2020

At Russia’s SatComRus-2020 conference, Andrei Zheglov, Deputy Director of the Department of State Policy in the Field of Communications of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, said that frequencies in the 4.8GHz band would be allocated to a single operator to create a 5G network, ComNews reports. The official highlighted that key 5G frequencies in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz and 700MHz bands remained unavailable due to their continued usage by military/satellite and TV operators, respectively. ComNews quoted a representative of major Russian operator MegaFon commenting on the limitations of the 4.8GHz band for 5G: ‘This range is not global, it does not achieve the recoupment of networks and the ecosystem of 5G equipment is not developed. In addition, it has restrictions on the possibility of use in the corridor 300km from the state border line. The benefits of allocating the 4800-4990MHz range are not obvious for the country’s economy.’ Furthermore, a spokesperson for rival cellco Tele2 Russia noted that ‘market participants have not yet come to a common understanding regarding the model of a single [5G] infrastructure operator.’

In July 2020 Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) received Russia’s first commercial licence for 5G operations, in the 24.25GHz-24.65GHz mmWave band.