State-owned Kyrgyz mobile operator MegaCom has boosted the mobile data speeds available on its 4G LTE network by aggregating the 1800MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands, local newspaper Tazabek reported, adding that MegaCom is the first operator in Kyrgyzstan to utilise this combination of LTE bands. MegaCom, which launched its 4G LTE network in March 2016, also utilises the 800MHz band to provide wider LTE coverage. The company’s website says that by December 2016 the LTE footprint reached seven cities (Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad, Cholpon-Ata, Kant, Kara-Balta and Tokmok), plus a further 45 villages in the Chui (24 villages), Osh (14) and Issyk Kul (seven) regions.
Rival Kyrgyz cellco Sky Mobile (Beeline), part of the VimpelCom group, has also announced 4G LTE upgrades, by doubling the commercial spectrum bandwidth dedicated to LTE to 2×10MHz, to enable it to double its maximum mobile data speed to 75Mbps. Beeline’s press release added that it switched on a total of 285 new base stations over the course of 2016, and it is concentrating on expanding mobile coverage ‘even in the most remote and small regions of the country’. Beeline Kyrgyzstan, which is the second-largest operator in the market behind MegaCom in subscriber terms, launched the 4G LTE network in May 2016 with a presence in all regions of the country, using the 800MHz band. 800MHz LTE licences were issued to MegaCom, Beeline and third-placed cellular rival Nur Telecom (O!) in a state auction in September 2015.