Russian telecommunications giant Mobile TeleSystems said it was one of four companies to have been allocated spectrum licenses designed for the rollout of LTE services across the country.
MTS noted that The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Communications, Information Technologies and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) awarded the carrier a total of 50 megahertz of spectrum across portions of the 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum bands. The specific licenses includes 15 megahertz in the 791 MHz to 862 MHz bands; 20 megahertz in the 2.5 to 2.69 GHz bandsl and 15 megahertz in the 720 MHz to 791 MHz band. The carrier said it will use that spectrum to launch traditional FDD LTE services using 2×25 megahertz channels.
MTS, which currently serves approximately 100 million customers, was previously awarded TDD spectrum in the 2595 MHz to 2620 MHz bands to offer TD-LTE services. MTS was the first Russian carrier to proclaim serving more than 1 million total customers in late 2000.
The FDD licenses come with requirements for LTE coverage in all markets with more than 50,000 people by 2019, along with investment obligations of at least $460 million annually towards the LTE rollout. Other operators gaining access to LTE spectrum in the 791 MHz to 862 MHz bands include Rostelecom, MegaFon and VimpleCom.
“We are planning to start rolling out LTE networks ahead of schedule in order to deliver high-speed Internet to customers in Russia’s largest cities early next year,” explained Andrei Dubovskov, MTS President and CEO. Completion of the competition also enables us to launch commercially our first LTE TDD network in Moscow and the Moscow region using the frequencies in the 2595-2620 MHz range.”
MTS added that it currently provides LTE services in portions of Armenia and Uzbekistan.
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