ComNews writes that Tele2 Russia plans to retain frequencies in the 450MHz band, formerly held by Rostelecom subsidiary SkyLink before the setting up of their joint mobile venture T2 RTC Holding, but it does not intend to use the band to develop Long Term Evolution (LTE) services unless it can secure additional 450MHz bandwidth at some point in the future. Tele2 Russia deputy director general Alexander Provorotov confirmed that while the company had considered LTE-450 services, it does not hold sufficient bandwidth to make it commercially viable. However, he added: ’The frequency is not going away, we will not give them to anybody. If we get the opportunity to get additional frequencies in this range and increase the bandwidth, we consider it carefully’.
In October this year, TeleGeography reported that Russia’s State Radio Frequency Commission (SRFC) authorised the use of frequencies in the 403MHz-410MHz, 417MHz-422MHz, 433MHz-450MHz and 469MHz-470MHz bands for the development of fixed, cellular and land mobile radio use. The 450MHz band is ideal for deployment in rural areas as lower frequency bandwidths are able to serve a greater geographical area, meaning that a lower number of base stations are needed to be deployed to cover a much wider area. The use of the band is not limited to cellular providers; other users include ambulance, taxi and fire protection services. However, the decision will be of interest to a number of Russian cellular operators which currently use the 450MHz band’ such as T2 RTC Holding. Irina Rybakov, a spokesperson for Tele2 Russia said at the time that whilst the group welcomed the decision, it needs more details on the precise details before it can proceed. According to her, a lot will ultimately depend on the specific conditions of distribution and use of this spectrum.