Ukraine’s three largest mobile operators have commenced “joint actions” to expand their 4G-LTE networks using redistributed 900MHz frequencies.
Across summer 2020, Kyivstar, Lifecell and Vodafone will exchange the 900MHz spectrum in eight Ukrainian regions, with the aim of completing the redistribution programme by the end of the year.
The initiative will allow the operators to offer LTE-900 services alongside their current GSM-900 services via contiguous spectrum allocations. The plan is in line with Presidential Decree No. 497 of 8 July 2019 aimed at improving mobile internet access.
The operators have been issued 900MHz licences valid from 1st July 2020 which oblige them to provide 4G coverage to 90% of the country’s population within two years.
At present, Kyivstar claims that its 1800MHz/2600MHz 4G coverage reaches 80% of Ukraine’s population, while Vodafone Ukraine describes its coverage rate as “over 71%”. Lifecell’s LTE population coverage is estimated at a slightly higher 73%.
Statistics from the Ukrainian government indicate that 57% of all nationwide settlements received 4G coverage, as of end-May 2020.