PRESS: Econ ministry opposes enforced roaming deals with Rostelecom
MOSCOW, Sep 16 (PRIME) -- Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has criticized a draft government ruling by the Digital Development Ministry to oblige mobile operators to sign roaming deals with state-controlled Rostelecom to provide underpopulated towns with connection, business daily Kommersant reported on Wednesday.
The Economic Development Ministry asked for additional grounds to force mobile operators to sign such contracts and speed up data transfer to 10 Mbit/s from 2 Mbit/s as it would need more expenses.
Rostelecom acts as an operator of universal connection services, including public pay phones and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots. Mobile connection was added to such services in April. The criteria were also revised, and now Rostelecom must equip villages with at least 100 citizens with connection in comparison to the earlier set threshold of 250 people.
An official of the Digital Development Ministry said that roaming agreements are needed so that Rostelecom’s infrastructure is exploited not only for universal connection services, but for other services to other subscribers.
A representative of mobile operator MegaFon said that such deals are required to enable the universal services operator to provide mobile connection services across the whole country on the base of networks of other operators via roaming.