MegaFon and VimpelCom have partnered to develop base stations and share 4G/LTE network development and operation across 10 regions of Russia.
Expenditures on the development and use of the base stations will be shared by the operators, thus accelerating 4G/LTE coverage penetration at lower costs. The launch of the network is planned for after the second quarter of this year across the in the Arkhangelsk, Belgorod, Bryansk, Lipetsk, Smolensk and Voronezh regions, and the Republic of Karelia.
Alexander Bashmakov, Chief Technological Officer of MegaFon, commented: “After the acquisition of Scartel, MegaFon owns the widest range of frequencies in the 2,600 MHz band in Russia, and the implementation of a joint RAN-sharing project with VimpelCom will allow us to enhance our infrastructure in the 1,800 MHz band in the most efficient way. With this project, we are going not only to improve the existing network significantly, but also 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“.
Martin Skop, VimpelCom Russia’s Executive Vice President for Infrastructure Development, said: “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. With the start of this project with MegaFon, we have the widest 4G/LTE network sharing partnership program of any Russian mobile operator.”