FAS approves 5G joint rollout proposal; SCRF to study MegaFon/Rostelecom 5G mmWave results in Q2

12 Jan 2021

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has approved an application for prior consent for the conclusion of an agreement by the country’s four largest mobile operators on joint 5G network rollout, subject to fulfilment of an order aimed at ensuring competition in the communication services market. The FAS ruled that participants in the proposed 5G cooperation must maintain non-discriminatory access to radio frequencies for all competitors in the mobile market. It added: ‘Operators participating in the transaction need to develop and agree with the antimonopoly authority on the terms of use of infrastructure and/or sharing of radio frequencies and the conditions for providing infrastructure for MVNOs.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that in December 2019 Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), MegaFon, Beeline and Rostelecom (parent of cellco Tele2 Russia) signed an agreement of intent for the joint development and optimal usage of 5G mobile networks, aiming to explore options for sharing priority 5G frequency ranges. In December 2020 the FAS studied an application for approval of joint 5G network building activities.

Separately, Russia’s State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) has confirmed that New Digital Solutions – a joint venture of MegaFon and Rostelecom – will present to the SCRF ‘a programme of organisational and technical measures to release the radio frequency band 24.45GHz-27.5GHz and ensure electromagnetic compatibility of the 5G/IMT-2020 radio networks with existing and planned networks’ in the second quarter of 2021. GlobalComms says that in March 2020 a one-year permit for testing 5G mmWave spectrum within the 24.65GHz-27.5GHz band was handed to New Digital Solutions with a focus on studying 5G capabilities of Russian-made equipment.