Online news journal PanArmenian.Net reports that Armenian mobile operator VivaCell-MTS has launched a commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) service – claiming a first for the country. The cellco’s 4G network offers maximum theoretical download speeds of 100Mbps and uplink peak data rates of 50Mbps respectively, and at launch covers the centre of Yerevan. Further expansion to Gyumri and Vanadzor and other regional centres is planned. VivaCell-MTS inaugurated its 4G/LTE test network in December 2010, and originally planned to go live in February 2011. The operator paid AMD990 million (USD2.7 million) for a 4G concession in November 2010 – the first company to receive a licence – giving it rights to use 40MHz of spectrum until 4 November 2019, in Yerevan (2500MHz-2520MHz) and the regions (2620MHz-2640MHz and 2600MHz-2640MHz).
Commenting on the launch, VivaCell-MTS general manager Ralph Yirikian said: ‘VivaCell-MTS has launched the first commercial 4G/LTE network in Armenia – to create better modern infrastructure for business, by positioning Armenia as one of the top technologically-advanced countries of the world. As proven by the 4G/LTE trial, our decision to introduce this most innovative technology platform to the Armenian market has been justified. Businesses as well as individual users can benefit from VivaCell-MTS’s 4G/LTE network. The network will give subscribers the ability to work at significantly faster speeds and increased work efficiency. 4G/LTE is the technology of the future made available in Armenia today.’