Yota Switches LTE Tactics

6:10 AM -- Russian operator Yota is to undertake an extraordinary migration of its 300,000 customers in Moscow from WiMax services to LTE, planning to switch them overnight on April 14 rather than let them migrate over time as originally planned.

Yota has been a WiMax broadband wireless services pioneer, building its business in Russia and elsewhere with a focused technology and marketing strategy. (See Yota: A Model WiMax Startup?)

But it decided in 2010 to switch to LTE once it realized WiMax had a limited shelf life and in November that year the operator's VP of business development, Yegor Ivanov, told Light Reading that "as we start selling LTE service, we will stop selling WiMax. We believe we can switch off WiMax within three years. Existing WiMax customers will be migrated to LTE as they upgrade [their CPE]." (See WiMax Operator Issues LTE RFP and LTE Watch: Yota Drops WiMax for LTE.)

Yota subsequently became the LTE wholesale operator for Russia's major mobile operators and launched its first LTE network in Novosibirsk during Dec. 2011. (See Yota Launches LTE, Russian Into LTE and Russian Ops to Share LTE Network.)

Now it's ready to switch on its LTE network in Moscow. But instead of allowing its existing WiMax services customers in the Russian capital to move over to the LTE service gradually, it's going to make the switch overnight in mid-April.

For the full details check out this great Pyramid Research analyst note by Olena Kaplan and Badii Kechiche: Creating 300,000 LTE Muscovites Overnight.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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