Mobile TeleSystems claims first LTE licence in Moscow

The Russian mobile operator MTS has received a licence to provide LTE services in Moscow and the Moscow region.

The licence, awarded by Russian regulator Roskomnadzor, is to provide wireless communication services in the LTE TDD standard in the 2595-2620 MHz range.

Under the terms of the licence, MTS is required to launch services on the LTE network before December 29 2013. Under the terms of the award however, the licence will only be available to MTS until December 29 2016.

MTS claims that it has now completed its network modernisation in Moscow, which will allow it to quickly roll out its network in the region.

Earlier this month, MTS announced the commercial launch of its 3G network in the 900MHz range in Moscow, which it claims complements its network in the 2100MHz range.

“The LTE licence is an important step forward in the advancement of next-generation networks in Russia,” said Andrei Ushatskiy, VP and CTO of MTS. “Shortly after receiving all the necessary regulatory approvals, MTS will be able to offer its subscribers a full array of wireless telecommunications services through the seamless integration of our GSM, 3G and LTE networks.”

Meanwhile, the race to deliver LTE services in Russia is afoot. Russian WiMAX provider Scartel, operating under the Yota brand, announced in December 2011 that it would be testing its LTE network in Siberia until its official launch, which at the time was scheduled for 15 January, 2012.

Having signed up other mobile operators, including MTS, Rostelecom and VimpelCom, to share an LTE network on a wholesale basis, Yota plans to deliver LTE mobile broadband services to 180 cities by 2014.

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