Russian Into LTE

2:00 AM Operators take a step towards shared LTE infrastructure

December 8, 2011

1 Min Read
Russian Into LTE

2:00 AM -- The bold decision by (most of) Russia's wireless service providers to share a single LTE network has moved a step closer with formal partnership agreements between several of the key players. (See Russian Ops to Share LTE Network.)

Yota , the WiMax operator that is transforming its network to LTE and being the infrastructure host for multiple service providers, has announced formal agreements with MegaFon , the country's second-largest mobile operator, and Rostelecom , a newcomer to Russia's mobile sector, a sector that boasts a staggering penetration rate of 160 percent.

The agreement with MegaFon enables Yota to use the GSM operator's infrastructure, including 120,000 kilometers of fiber and more than 25,000 base stations, to build out its LTE network. In return, MegaFon gets to offer its 60 million customers LTE services starting some time in 2012.

State-owned Rostelecom, meanwhile, has brokered a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) relationship that will enable it to offer LTE services to its estimated 100 million users.

Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) are the other operators due to share Yota's LTE network in what will be (if it works) a breakthrough shared infrastructure agreement.

One can only imagine the detail involved in the service-level agreements (SLAs) between the parties. It's hard to imagine there aren't going to be some strained relationships between all concerned once the network is hosting all the rival service providers.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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