Russian round-up: MNP uptake revealed, Rostelecom launches LTE in Sochi, Tattelecom secures 1800MHz LTE licence

7 Feb 2014

Around 20,000 Russian mobile users have utilised the country’s new mobile number portability (MNP) service since it was soft-launched on 1 December 2013. According to data provided by the Central Research Institute of Telecommunications, a further 80,000 users filed applications to switch operators in December and January. Officially, Russian cellcos have until 15 April 2014 to fully implement the service, after the government allowed them breathing room to sort out any technical hitches.

Rostelecom has switched on its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in Sochi, the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The state-backed operator has deployed around 40 LTE base transceiver stations (BTS), which are concentrated in two clusters: the mountain range and the coastal area. Rostelecom expects end-users to experience down/uplink transmission speeds of 60Mbps/20Mbps. LTE SIM cards are now on sale in all major shopping centres in Sochi.

Russian regional operator Tattelecom has received a licence permitting it to provide LTE services using the 1800MHz band, RIA Novosti writes. Tattelecom subsidiary SMARTS-Kazan reportedly submitted the successful application, while the operator plans to roll out 700 LTE base stations in Tatarstan, at a total investment of around RUB1.5 billion (USD43.1 million).

The board of directors of Russian mobile giant MegaFon has approved a deal to buy 100% of SMARTS-Volgograd, a unit of Samara-based SMARTS Group. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) approved the takeover late last month.

Russia, Rostelecom, MegaFon, SMARTS Group, Tattelecom (inc. Fly MVNO),

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