Russian operators VimpelCom (Beeline), Rostelecom, and Megafon have agreed they will own equal stakes in their joint venture New Digital Solutions aimed at the collaborative development of radio frequencies for establishing and operating 5G mobile networks.
New Digital Solutions will pursue testing for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), researching possibilities of using certain spectrum bands for the construction of 5G networks, and implementing necessary organisational and technical measures to release the spectrum from existing usages.
It will focus on the release of spectrum for 5G services, including 694-790 MHz, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 4.4-4.99 GHz, and 24.25-29.5 GHz bands. The agreement was signed under the framework of the St Petersburg International Economy Forum.
A local media report quoted VimpelCom president Rashid Ismailov, as saying: "The introduction of 5G in Russia has begun to lag behind the global trend, we are facing serious challenges, it is necessary to solve the problem of a shortage of frequencies, regulatory, organisational and technical issues of introducing new technology. Even large operators cannot solve these problems alone."
Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) had given ‘preliminary consent’ to this agreement as reported on May 12th.
Russian network operator MTS is not participating in this joint project. However, MTS has launched its pilot 5G network in St Petersburg. Broadband at up to 1.5 Gbps speed is available at 16 crowded locations in the city, as well as in the town of Kronshtadt in the St Petersburg region.