Vimpelcom-owned cellco Beeline Uzbekistan has commercially launched 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent. UzDaily writes that the network currently covers 10% of the territory of Tashkent, although the cellco hopes to cover the entire region by the end of 2015. Beeline will also begin deploying 4G infrastructure in Samarkand in 2015, with rollouts in other regions set to follow in 2016. Beeline’s CEO Alexander Vorobyov was quoted as saying: ‘New technologies…ensure sustainable development of the country and society, and we are proud to do such an important step these days, when the whole Uzbekistan celebrates the anniversary of Independence. I am confident that the launch of the first commercial LTE network in the country will go down in history not only of our company, but also the whole telecom industry.’ The network was supplied by China’s Huawei and offers downlink speeds of up to 70Mbps. Beeline is offering LTE for USD1,200 per month, including unlimited data usage, 1,000 minutes of calls and 1,000 SMS to all networks in Uzbekistan. The price tag puts the service well out of reach of most, with a typical graduate salary in Uzbekistan netting less than USD400 per month. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Beeline launched the LTE network on a trial basis in February 2012.
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