Russian 3.5GHz fixed-wireless licensees given a year extension

21 Jun 2021

Russia’s State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) has decided to extend all existing 3500MHz fixed-wireless operating licences until 1 July 2022, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications & Mass Media reported on its website. The licences officially expired in March this year but fixed-wireless broadband operators were allowed to continue providing services while the SCRF reached a final decision on whether to extend the 3.5GHz permits. The Ministry’s statement noted that ‘many companies continued to provide their clients with fixed-wireless internet access’ in the interim period, adding that these companies must ‘carry out work to transfer subscribers to other radio frequency ranges’ before July 2022 so that ‘subscribers will continue to receive internet access services and will not notice the transition to other bands’. The Ministry also indicated that for many subscribers, alternative access methods could be implemented, stating: ‘In most cases it is possible to organise broadband internet access using satellite terminals, radio relay stations, and in some cases, fibre-optic lines.’

The 3.5GHz spectrum came under previous proposals to redistribute the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz range for 5G mobile services, but such plans have thus far been blocked by Russian satellite/military/security agencies.