South West | Telecoms, media | Technology & innovation

Rostelecom to deploy LTE networks in Russia’s South

21 Aug '12
Rostelecom, Russia’s largest government-controlled telecom operator, is taking its LTE 4G networks project to Russia’s South, news agency RIA Novosti reports citing Alexander Shipulin, a Rostelecom vice-president for Southern Russia operations.

The operator is reportedly completing its LTE project this year in Sochi, a resort city in the Krasnodar region hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, and is then entering the neighboring North Caucasus Federal District in 2013.

Prior to strategizing its Southern Russia expansion Rostelecom won a tender in July for offering licensed LTE telecom services across Russia. Other winners included MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom, Russia’s Big Three of the leading private telecoms.

Under terms of the tender, the winners are expected to start providing services no later than July 1, 2013, developing its networks to full-blown capacity by 2019. Each tender winner will have to invest a reported $460m a year in infrastructure, thus topping out in seven years at $15bn. The amount does not include the costs of converting the frequency spectrum the winning operators will have to also incur.

Rostelecom has plans to set up test areas in the North Caucasus Federal District, paying most attention first to the Stavropol region, home to the District administration. The future networks will have a data transfer speed of “about 20Mbit,” the report says.
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