On 2 August Russia’s State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) agreed to extend the 800MHz and 2600MHz 4G licences held by the country’s mobile operators for a period of ten years. According to preliminary estimates, the licences will be priced at RUB100 billion (USD1.37 billion) apiece. Sources familiar with the situation informed RBC that the following stipulations will be applied to the renewed concessions:
· from 2023 operators will have to only use equipment included in the register of Russian electronic products, and software from the register of Russian software;
· by 8 September 2024 operators must provide LTE coverage in 100% of settlements with a population of more than 1,000 people;
· by 8 September 2031 operators must cover 99.9% of federal roads with LTE networks.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, on 12 July 2012 Roskomnadzor confirmed that Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), MegaFon, Beeline and Rostelecom had been awarded federal licences to provide LTE services in the 800MHz band (832MHz-862MHz/791MHz-821MHz). Each company was granted 2×7.5MHz of 800MHz spectrum covering all 83 Russian regions (excluding Crimea/Sevastopol which were not in the Federation at that date [and have remained unserved by the main cellcos]), plus 2×10MHz of additional 2600MHz FDD 4G frequencies (although these were confirmed at a later date).