The presidential decree aims to remove existing obstacles to the deployment of 3G/4G coverage.
President Vladimir Zelensky decided to improve the mobile Internet in Ukraine. He signed on 8 July 2019 decree 497/2019 with the goal of “maximum coverage of the territory of Ukraine the networks of the third and fourth generation.” And gave the Cabinet of Ministers with the National Commission of regulation of communications and Informatization (NCCIR) only a few months to restore order in the scandalous range of 800-900 MHz.
3G/4G Internet all over Ukraine
According to the head of state, our citizens must obtain widespread access to broadband Internet. Especially in the areas of education, medicine, e-Commerce, administrative services and e-democracy.
It is the “low” radio frequencies in the decree of the President referred to the 790-960 MHz ideal for coverage of large areas. This is the feature of radio communications, the lower the frequency, the greater the radius of one base station (BS).
In NCCIR has previously estimated that the coverage of the whole country need only 4.1 thousand BS operating in the 700-800 MHz bands. For comparison, in the 1800s frequencies (since the summer of 2018 in Ukraine in this range is developing 4G) – will need to 31.7 thousand of BS to cover the whole country.
The Cabinet and the NCRC, you have a few months
Vladimir Zelensky by his decree ordered the government and the Telecom regulator:
- before August 1 to determine the compatibility of electronic special users and commercial 3G/4G operators in the range 790-960 MHz.
- until 1 August – the release of radio frequency 790-862 MHz to launch 3G/4G.
- before October 1, to determine the terms and conditions of release of the bands in the 880-915 MHz and 925-960 MHz from specific users.
- until October 1 – to take measures to eliminate the fragmentation of radio frequency resource (HRD) in 824-960 MHz for the introduction of 3G/4G.
The Cabinet in the shortest possible time required to amend the Plan to use HRD, legalizing the possibility of early introduction of new generations of communication. This is particularly true of companies that have long received the HRD to launch the now obsolete radio technology. Which you can on the available frequencies go to advanced wireless standards.
It is easier to specify than to do
The President ordered to issue and renew “in an objective, proportionate and transparent manner” licenses in bands 790-960 MHz.
To implement such ambitious plans in such a short time will be extremely difficult. In addition to the military and other spetspolzovateley, 800-900 MHz clashed more and the interests of “mobile big three”.
Kyivstar holds a “controlling interest” – more than half of all frequencies in the spectrum of 900 MHz. Previously, he swallowed another competitor – “Ukrainian radio systems”, working under the brand WellCOM and Beeline. In the late 1990s, the Telecom regulator has issued three licenses (GSM 900). Another received a “Ukrainian mobile communication” (UMC, then – MTS), now known as “VF Ukraine” (Vodafone).
NCRC July 2 proposed Kyivstar and CDMA-the operator “Intertelecom” return the surplus radio frequencies, respectively, in the bands 900 MHz and 800 MHz.
The President of “Kyivstar” Alford said in response that his company needs to understand what compensation will be given for the returned frequency. He also noted that his operator, serving more subscribers, and therefore requires greater HRD.
Second largest operator Vodafone Ukraine, did not agree with this proposal. A key principle in civilized markets is an even distribution of the limited natural resources between the operators, said the company. The only way to ensure equal competitive conditions on the market.
lifecell, the smallest member of the “mobile big three”, also called for a uniform distribution of low frequencies.
The head of the NCSRCI Oleksandr Zhivotovsky in December 2018, said in an interview UBR.ua that the auctions in the frequencies of 800-900 MHz can pass through 2019. However, he then called the forecast “optimistic scenario.”