Ukraine’s largest cellco by users Kyivstar launched commercial services on its 3G W-CDMA/HSPA+ network on 8 June 2015 for all subscribers in the city of Lviv and selected provincial towns/suburbs as scheduled, while it is sticking to the expected 16 June launch date for commercial 3G switch-on in the capital Kiev. Kyivstar’s announcement on its website also notes that 3G testing is ongoing in more than 20 major cities in the run-up to a host of further regional launches. The website also notes that 3G speeds are theoretically offered at up to a maximum of 42.2Mbps – implemented via Dual-Carrier HSPA+ (DC-HSPA+) architecture – but that subscribers are unlikely to receive this peak rate as 3G capacity of each base station is distributed among all subscribers using the service at that cell. However, speeds are expected to be ‘ten times’ faster than the maximum data transfer of Kyivstar’s existing EDGE 2.5G technology, which it previously upgraded to 236kbps (theoretical).
Meanwhile, smaller rival Astelit (life:)), which launched its commercial 3G network in Lviv last month, has announced the official expansion of its 3G services to Kiev, with ‘full coverage’ of the capital advertised.
MTS Ukraine, which is yet to officially announce a full commercial 3G launch, has begun providing 42Mbps (DC-HSPA+) mobile data services at Zhulyani international airport near Kiev, free of charge, as the latest in a series of pilot/free testing launches. The airport 3G facilities were deployed using a specialised indoor solution involving over 100 antennas installed in the airport’s commercial centre; MTS Ukraine plans to launch over 50 indoor 3G networks across Kiev, and 200 similar indoor networks in other major cities across the country.