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Telecoms in Russia Get 10-year LTE License Renewal with New Requirements

August 4, 2021, 10:03 (UTC+3)|
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On August 2, the General Radio Frequency Centre (GRFC), a Russian regulatory body, prolonged the current permits to use the frequencies of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 2.5-2.7 GHz for LTE networks for another 10 years term, RBC reports.

According to Newspaper’s sources, the decision contains a number of requirements for telecoms companies:

  • starting from 2023, they will have to use only equipment included in the register of Russian electronic products and software from the register of domestic software in the construction of LTE networks;
  • by September 8, 2024, they must provide LTE coverage in 100% of localities with a population of more than 1,000 people;
  • by September 8, 2031, they must cover 99.9% of federal roads with LTE networks.

Telecoms operators also told RBC about the repercussions of such measures. For instance, operator MegaFon clarified that the company already "prioritizes the provision of LTE not only in large cities but their environs as well". However, in order to fulfill such conditions, the company will have to invest in digitalization of the most remote regions and sections of federal highways, where building 4G infrastructure is costly. According to the operator's forecasts, the amount of investments to cover these areas with LTE is estimated at $1.3 billion (100 billion rubles).

MTS expressed its willingness to purchase the "competitive Russian equipment with the required characteristics, quality, and prices" in accordance with the requirements from GRFC.

Tele 2 Russia of T2 RTK Holding (a subsidiary of Rostelecom, which operates under the Tele2 brand) will have to evaluate future investments after an additional assessment. Earlier, the company expressed its position on the matter, according to which new requirements for LTE equipment should only apply to new construction, without rebuilding all existing networks.

At the time of this writing, the official document from the GRFC has not been released yet.

Original (in Russian)

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