MegaFon to roll out LTE services in 40 cities; Osnova targets 2013 launch

MegaFon plans to introduce Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in 40 cities by the end of the year; the information was said to be included in a bond prospectus. MegaFon has also ambitious plans to sign up some 37.3 million subscribers by the same date, or 60% of its current overall subscriber base.

Another controversial start-up Osnova Telekom, which is partly owned (25.1%) by Voentelecom – which is itself controlled by the Ministry of Defence – plans to hold a tender for the supply of LTE equipment imminently, as soon as a shortlist of candidates has been drawn up. The mobile firm, which was quietly granted Russia’s second LTE license earlier this year, just days before Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) was awarded a much-publicized LTE concession covering Moscow, hopes to initiate test operations in five or six cities by the end of the year, before launching commercial operations in the first or second quarter of 2013.

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