VimpelCom and MegaFon to share 4G development in Russia

Russian operators VimpelCom and MegaFon are jointly developing base stations and sharing LTE network development and operation across Russia.

Operators of both companies will share the expenditure and use of base stations – deployed in ten regions – to accelerate 4G coverage penetration at lower costs. 

“MegaFon has the most extended network infrastructure. We were the first in Russia, who started to build LTE network proactively. This allowed us to become the market leader in data services not only in infrastructure and technologies, but also in data offerings to our customers,” said Alexander Bashmakov, chief technological officer of MegaFon.

“With this project, we are going not only to improve the existing network significantly, but also to rapidly launch LTE in new locations in the selected regions at a minimum cost. This will allow millions of MegaFon’s new customers to enjoy high-speed mobile Internet and high-quality communication,” he added. 

At the end of Q3 2015, approximately 40% of MegaFon’s subscriber base was using mobile internet, with 40% of internet traffic transferred via LTE. The company claims this was the highest rate in the industry. 

Martin Skop, VimpelCom Russia’s EVP for infrastructure development, said: “We are committed to being the best 4G/LTE operator in Russia. We continue our development in line with this ambition by augmenting the number of base stations as well as enhancing 4G/LTE device penetration rate in Beeline’s network. In 2015, the number of 4G/LTE devices in our network grew 3.3-fold; 4G/LTE traffic is now over four times higher, while the number of 4G/LTE base stations grew 1.5 times.” 

Over 1,300 additional LTE-enabled base stations in in the Smolensk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Lipetsk, Bryansk and Arkhangelsk regions, the Republic of Karelia, and other regions of the joint 4G development programme, will be deployed. The network is scheduled to be launched after the second quarter.