MTS has built the base station in all 83 regions, a license to work in which it, together with the “Beeline”, “MegaFon” and “Rostelecom” won the competition in July 2012. This was told in an interview to “Vedomosti”, the representative of MTS Dmitry Solodovnikov.
According to the contest operators are required by 2019 to cover all cities with population over 50 000 people so that the speed of data transmission in all their schools and universities was not less than 1 Mbps. MTS hopes to meet this requirement well ahead of schedule.
According to the representative of “Megaphone” Yulia Dorogino, by the end of 2015 the network of LTE of “Megaphone” worked in 76 regions. “Beeline” to the end of the year LTE network worked in nearly 60 regions. Tele2 does not divide the high-speed mobile Internet on 3G and LTE and the other technology he is now working in 59 of the 64 regions, where the network operator.
MTS is forcing construction of the LTE networks due to the growth in mobile Internet traffic: in 2015, the average LTE user MTS downloaded 4 times more data than the year before, and 25% of this traffic passed through the network of the fourth generation. The increase in the number of base stations that support broadband data transmission (by the end of 2015, it was available in 60% of base stations MTS versus 50% a year earlier), leading to growth in revenue from mobile Internet services, confident in the company. In addition, the construction was accelerated because of the crisis and volatility of exchange rates. Equipment for the network is imported and the operator thus minimizes the risks associated with the devaluation of the ruble.
Under the terms of the licenses for the LTE frequencies MTS, “Beeline”, “MegaFon” and “T2 RTK holding” up to 2019 should be invested annually in the construction of LTE networks by 15 billion rubles (the total amount of their investment shall be, respectively, 105 billion rubles).
The weakening of the ruble will cause the operators review plans on capital investments, forcing them to save on the installation of new equipment, predicts Fitch ratings. Earlier, representatives of some operators indicated that a weak ruble (more than 60 rubles./$) will likely lead to revision of capital cost to reduce. In their opinion, would result in the construction of LTE networks may slow down.
According to representatives of Tele2, 3G several years will remain the most popular access technology, and LTE operator builds primarily in large cities, where this technology is in demand due to large penetration supporting subscriber devices, he said.