Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has signed a memorandum with four leading mobile network operators to reorganize radio-frequency resource to the 900 MHz band. It will allow to ensure maximum coverage of the entire territory of Ukraine with 4G mobile communication, as well as to provide broadband Internet access.
“Every corner of Ukraine will be covered by mobile communication and the Internet network! Today we have signed a memorandum with the four major mobile operators of Ukraine on frequency redistribution. The operators will receive competitive conditions enabling them to compete for the best quality of the Internet,” said the Head of Government. “As a result, companies will have new opportunities for investment and expanding their range of services. And Ukrainians will get high-quality communication in villages and on roads.”
The Prime Minister stressed that the Government, for its part, is ready to provide maximum support in this process for mobile operators.
“One of the objectives of our Ministry is to provide 90% of settlements of Ukraine, including the most remote settlements, with high-quality high-speed Internet by 2022. Today, we have taken an important step towards the implementation of what we have planned. Due to the agreements reached, licenses will be reissued in March 2020, thereby facilitating the spread of 4G even in small villages,” said Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov.
The lack of high-speed mobile Internet in the regions today is caused by the fact that the frequency distribution among operators in the 900 MHz band is unsufficient to launch 4G. Correcting the situation will be possible due to the implementation of the Joint Action Plan, recently signed by the operators, according to which Kyivstar will refuse part of the range. Under the license, this operator has now been given about 60% of the available bandwidth in the 900 MHz band. Apart from that, the CDMA operator "Intertelecom" will refuse the frequencies in this range and will instead receive frequencies in the range of 800 MHz.
For its part, the Government will facilitate the implementation of the objective for operators through providing access to infrastructure, introducing techno-neutrality, setting a fair price for license re-issuance, etc.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the utmost concerns of mobile operators have also been eliminated, namely regarding the limitation of frequencies on which CDMA and GSM technologies work, which could cause signal degradation.
“At present, the protection gap between the frequencies of these technologies is 0.1–0.2 MHz. Due to the reorganization, it will increase to 3 MHz. Moreover, for the first time in Ukraine, there will be held no laboratory tests, but field tests of the real impact these frequencies and defects can create,” Mykhailo Fedorov added.
The signatories to the memorandum are Vodafone, Lifecell, Kyivstar and Intertelecom.