Kyivstar and Vodafone Ukraine partnership: offering 4G networks to rural areas

Kyivstar and Vodafone Ukraine partnership offering 4G networks to rural areas

Kyivstar and Vodafone Ukraine have signed a Memorandum of Intent for the joint use of passive and active infrastructures aiming to accelerate the deployment of 4G networks in Ukraine’s rural areas and highways, according to a press release published on July 9, 2020. The plan consists of beginning practical implementation of the Memorandum in November-December 2020.

The cooperation is crucial for the Ukrainian Telecom sector, as it will avoid duplication of network infrastructures. Other such examples of active network sharing partnerships, include Vodafone and TIM (Telecom Italia group), building 4G and 5G networks.

Alexander Komarov, Kyvistar President said, “We encourage telecom operators to join the Memorandum, especially those who want to develop new mobile technologies. The partnership will allow operators to bridge the digital gap between megacities and villages and to fulfill their investments plan despite the decrease in market income,” according to Interfax Ukraine. Lifecell and Intertelecom are potentially willing to join the partnership. Vodafone Ukraine CEO Olga Ustinova said, “Sharing our networks will make our investments more effective and will bring the opportunity for operators to bring high-speed Internet to small villages”.

According to Broadband TV News, Komarov said, “Our Company has taken the initiative aiming to improve the competitive environment for the entire telecom market”. Ukraine has a very competitive telecom market and is dominated by the three network operators: Vodafone Ukraine, Kyivstar, and Lifecell. Recently, they have commenced joint action to expand their 4G-LTE networks.

Telecom operators will exchange the 900 MHz spectrum in Eight Ukrainian regions, according to Developing Telecoms. The National Commission for State Regulation of Communications & Informatization (NCCIR) has issued three licenses to major telecom operators allowing them to offer 4G-LTE-900 services as of July 1, 2020. The three 900 MHz spectrum licenses would oblige telecom operators to provide a 4G network to 90% of Ukraine’s population within two years. Kyivstar, Lifecell, and Vodafone paid UAH260 million, UAH121 million, and UAH230 million respectively for their licenses.