Russia: 5G market leader in the CIS

Russia 5G market leader in the CIS

Countries worldwide are working hard to secure a leadership position in the deployment of a 5G network. As for Russia, the country is expected to become a “leader in the 5G market” in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), according to a new report published by GSMA entitled “The Mobile Economy Russia and CIS-2019”.

The fifth-generation network is a priority in Russia. As part of the digital economy program, the Russian government has called for 5G deployment in major cities by 2024. According to Russian News Agency, Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed to launch 5G networks in Russia aiming to secure high-speed Internet.

As part of the government plan, telecom operators, MTS and Beeline have signed an agreement with China Telecom giant Huawei to carry out 5G network trials.

Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications & Mass Media has drafted a new plan for 5G network sharing. The ministry was expected to issue spectrum licenses without competitive auction.

On the other hand, Russian telecom operator Tele2 has collaborated with Ericsson aiming to launch 5G coverage and services. As part of a five-year network modernization deal, Ericsson and Tele2 have launched the first commercial network in Central Moscow. The 5G pilot zone is deployed in the 28 GHz band in non-Standalone (NSA) mode, the frequency band for anchor LTE band is Band 7 (2600MHz), and the 5G pocket routers supporting 28 GHz are used as end-user devices for mobile broadband services with ultra-high speeds, according to Ericsson. Non-standalone 5G-network uses a non-secured GTP protocol to operate. Thus, 5G networks might put Russia’s infrastructures at risk.

According to Statista, in 2025, the 5G network is expected to be used by 81% of the Russian population compared to 22% in 2020.

Recently, a new 5G pilot zone has been deployed as part of the Zyfra- Finish-Russian firm- Intelligence mine system. The robotic dump trucks aim to provide safe mining technologies based on robotics, AI, and IoT. The project, deployed on Huawei equipment, will be tried on 130 tons of autonomous mining dump trucks.

The deployment of the 5G network is crucial for the Russian telecommunication sector. According to Paul Budde’s annual communication report on Russia, the Russian telecom sector revenue is expected to improve with the transition to 5G networks. However, Huawei as a key equipment provider might slow the 5G network deployment in Russia, following US sanctions.