On December 24, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) announced that it had approved the petition of Rostelecom, MegaFon, VimpelCom and MTS to establish a 5G joint venture - New Digital Solutions LLC.
It ordered its members to maintain non-discriminatory access to radio frequencies "for all representatives of the mobile radiotelephone market." The joint venture may also include the Yekaterinburg mobile operator Motiv. The company is ready to take part in joint work with federal operators to deploy a 5G network project in the Russian Federation, its CEO Alexey Artemasov told the publication. Now, according to him, negotiations are underway to provide "equal, non-discriminatory conditions" for entering the joint venture.The operators involved in the deal will need to develop and agree on the terms of infrastructure and frequency sharing.
The creation of the joint venture is provided for by the 5G development concept, which was approved by the Ministry of Finance in December 2019. In accordance with it, the association can receive free of charge from the state frequencies in the 4.4-4.99 GHz range, which is chosen by the government as a priority for 5G in Russia.
The joint venture will not provide communication services, but will deal with the release of frequencies in the ranges of 700 MHz, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 4.4-4.99 GHz and 24.25-29.5 GHz in all regions and negotiations with occupying them law enforcement agencies. An anchor operator will be selected for the development of 5G in each region. The constructed network will be available to other joint venture participants, but they will have to compensate the anchor operator for the construction costs. The state also intends to acquire a stake in the company.