Russian cell operators still hope to see 5G, get state help in 2018
MOSCOW, Dec 29 (PRIME) -- Russia’s biggest mobile operators aim to install 5G in 2018 and are waiting for state support promising to develop big data-based IT services, the companies said on Friday.
VimpelCom, working under the Beeline brand, expects to see in 2018 standardization of 5G, an important part of the company’s strategy, the operator’s CEO Kjell Morten Johnsen said.
The operator jointly with partners tested LTE in an unlicensed frequency band of 5 GHz. The main focus for the nearest future is to transfer existing networks to new architecture to make a smooth and economically efficient move to the 5G technology, the executive said.
But the State Radio Frequency Commission failed to decide on Thursday on the allocation of frequencies to test 5G networks because of a lack of agreement from state corporation Roscosmos and the Federal Guard Service.
At present, MegaFon is the only firm with frequencies to test 5G, because it received the resource in July.
“We take an active part in the development of the 5G standard. At the FIFA World Cup in 2018, we plan to unroll the first trial zones at the allocated working frequencies,” MegaFon’s General Director Sergei Soldatenkov said.
“We believe that the future belongs to big data, cloud services, ‘smart’ industries and cities, and we plan to implement projects in these spheres.”
Johnsen said that the market is moving from a price forming model based on consumption of voice services to a model of higher consumption of data traffic, which will be priority in 2018.
MTS also puts its stakes on IT services. “We already provide clients with a complex of IT solutions, like cloud services, solutions based on big data analysis, services of system integration, financial services, mobile applications and others,” the operator’s Vice President for Marketing Vyacheslav Nikolayev said.
MegaFon’s chief Soldatenkov said that all plans of operators need large investments, this is why dialogue with the government and its support are essential.
“The industry will face a sizeable burden in the coming year: the need to comply with the data retention law, expenses on which we estimate at some 35–40 billion rubles for five years; higher payments for frequencies (MegaFon spends about 5 billion rubles per year on frequencies); higher property taxes; a requirement to change roaming tariffs without revising rules of traffic carriage,” Soldatenkov said.
(57.6291 rubles – U.S. $1)