Central regions | Telecoms, media | Finance, business
Russian telecom operator scraps WiMax as “dead-end technology” amid expectations of huge political costs
4 May '17
Transtelecom (TTK), a Russian telecom operator owned by Russian Railways, is winding up ambitious plans for WiMax-enabled Internet access infrastructure deployment, the Russian news daily Kommersant reported, quoting a source with knowledge of the situation as saying that to the TTK management it became clear last year already that “WiMax is a dead-end technology and developing it for the mass market segment makes no sense.”
Back in 2011, TTK won a tender for 3.4-3.55GHz frequencies and allocated as much as $30m for future construction of wireless broadband Internet access networks and a large number of WiMax base stations in 27 Russian cities.
Today, the telecom operator has new plans for the use of the authorized 3.5GHz frequency range in the development of LTE-based networks. How the company is going to bypass the problem of having no government license for LTE development has yet to be specified.
In the meantime, word came from the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs regarding the cost of abiding by the so-called “Yarovaya Law” for Russian telecom operators. (The “Yarovaya Law” is aimed at curbing terrorist threats inside Russia and, among other measures, calls for longer-than-usual storage of users’ voice communications and Internet traffic data by telecom operators, which compels the operators to incur extra infrastructure losses.) According to the Union’s estimates, the telecom operators in Russia may be forced by the Law to shell out as much as a mind-boggling $180bn in extra costs, a loss that is likely to translate into an increase in telecommunications bills for customers and a 1-2% rise in overall inflation.