The State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) is planning to hold an auction for LTE-suitable frequencies in the 450MHz band in five federal subjects of Russia – Ingushetia, Chukotka, Nenets, Yakutia and Chechnya – on 28 December, cnews.ru writes. In three of the divisions – Ingushetia, Chukotka and Nenets – 450MHz spectrum has never been issued, while two operators active in Yakutia and Chechnya showed no interest in the frequencies.
TeleGeography notes that the 450MHz band – previously used for analogue NMT services – is a non-standard range for LTE technology. In the 2000s, most of the NMT operators were merged into SkyLink, a subsidiary of Rostelecom, which used the spectrum for 3G CDMA services. SkyLink tested LTE-450 technology in late-2013, though in August 2014 all mobile (2G/3G/4G) spectrum licences allocated to Rostelecom (including SkyLink’s) were transferred to the newly restructured Tele2 Russia, which launched LTE-450 in Tver in May 2013, with another five regions – Moscow (metropolitan), Moscow region, St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Novgorod – following in June.