Translated by
2019/09/11 09:06:02

Long-Term Evolution - LTE - 4G

The mobile technology of communication of fourth generation of LTE (4G) allows to send and receive "heavy" files with a capacity of 1 GB and more, to watch video in FullHD-quality without loading waiting, to use the Internet browser with a large number of tabs without delay when opening pages, to download audio-and video files, to distribute Wi-Fi on several devices, to play comfortably online games.


5G (fifth generation of mobile communication)

Основная статья: 5G (fifth generation of mobile communication)

Development of 5G networks in Russia

Основная статья: Development of 5G networks in Russia

LTE technology

The LTE technology is the main direction of evolution of cellular transmission networks of third generation (3G). In January, 2008 the international association of Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) developing perspective standards of mobile communication approved LTE as the following after the UMTS standard of a broadband network of mobile communication.

The International Telecommunication Union selected from quality of standards of wireless broadband communication of fourth generation (4G) two technologies — LTE Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced (is based on the WiMAX standard). According to the criteria determined by experts, the wireless standard of fourth generation the technologies providing peak data transfer rate of 100 Mbps in the movement and 1 Gbps at stationary use can be considered. The unrolled LTE - and WiMAX-networks which in the marketing purposes often carry to 4G do not conform to promulgated ITU to requirements (their capacity is approximately three times lower than the set criteria).

LTE provides theoretical peak data transfer rate to 326.4 Mbps from the base station to the user (de facto 5-10 Mbps) and up to 172.8 Mbps in the opposite direction. For comparison, networks of the second generation (2G) are theoretically capable to provide peak data transfer rate using GPRS technology of 56-114 Kbps, and the help of EDGE to 473.6 Kbps. Networks of third generation (3G) provide data transfer rate to 3.6 Mbps.

One of components of LTE network is the network based on IP which provides high-speed data transmission. The main advantage of LTE is that it is under construction based on the existing equipment with rather easy integration of GSM and WCDMA, otherwise, the LTE network supports the existing subscriber devices 2G and 3G. It WiMAX networks which also treat fourth generation are deprived.

LTE Advanced

In May, 2012 Takekhiro Nakamura, the chairman of the working group of 3GPP Radio Access Networks, the director of NTT DoCoMo Radio System Design Group, published results of natural tests of perspective technology which represents a new step in evolution of mobile networks. The data transfer rate stated in this specification should make 1 Gbps towards the subscriber and 500 Mbps from the subscriber. The experiments made in DoCoMo network confirmed high performance Advanced in a pilot zone, having shown the speed of 600 Mbps down and 200 Mbps in the conditions of dense urban development at the movement in the car up.

LTE Advanced — the next generation of LTE networks, fourth generation of mobile communication. Differs from "basic" in LTE bigger data transfer rate and an opportunity is distributed to broadcast the same signal on several ranges at once. For these networks also development of directional antennas which will be able to transmit a signal to only direction of the subscriber. Besides, LTE Advanced поддерживает a possibility of relaying — access to the network of one device through another.

Equipment for LTE networks

Main article: Equipment for LTE networks

LTE in Russia


Growth of number of base stations of LTE in seven months for 34%

On September 9, 2019 Tele2 company reported that it was ahead of competitors on speed of construction of LTE network. According to Roskomnadzor, in seven months since the beginning of year the company increased the number of base stations of fourth generation by 34% (up to 69,689).

LTE Tele2

At the same time on a total quantity of base stations LTE Tele2 closely got closer to the operator taking the second position, – the gap was reduced up to only 460 distribution zones. According to Roskomnadzor for the first half of the year 2019, Tele2 saved the first place on the general speed of construction of network infrastructure. In January-June the total number of base stations of Tele2 grew by 34% up to 170,958. Such dynamics exceeds result of the closest competitor almost twice – the number of its distribution zone increased by 8%. On the total number of base stations the operator takes the third position in the industry.

High dynamics of technical development of Tele2 is caused by the stable consumption growth of traffic clients and high-quality change of a subscriber base for benefit of active Internet users. According to the results of the II quarter 2019 their number increased by 52% year-on-year. Besides, in the spring of 2019 of Tele2 started 4G networks/3G/2G in the Yaroslavl and Ivanovo regions. Already on start they covered the territory where more than 95% of the population live.

Investing in technology development of network, the operator promotes increase in the NPS index (readiness of clients to recommend the operator to acquaintances and relatives). According to the results of the II quarter 2019 the company showed NPS in 43%, with a separation from the closest competitor in 14 items.

Tele2 almost overtook MTS on number of base stations of the LTE standard

On June 20, 2019 it became known that T2 Mobile LLC (Tele2 brand) increased the number of the base stations (BS) of the LTE standard since the beginning of year by 25% up to 65,056 distribution zones. Now Tele2 lags behind PJSC MTS on 2.9 thousand BS LTE. At the same time at MTS the number of base stations of LTE for the beginning of June decreased on 136 in comparison with an indicator of the beginning of May. According to reporting statistics of radio-frequency service of Roskomnadzor, since the beginning of year the total quantity of the distribution zone of all standards of operators of "Big Four" grew by 7% and made 746,408 units for June 1.

Roskomnadzor: Tele2 builds network most quicker in the industry

According to department recorded Roskomnadzor, the highest growth rates of the distribution zone of the LTE standard (+25%) since the beginning of year at Tele2. The total number of base stations of the operator grew by 13% up to 167,654. Such dynamics exceeds result of the closest competitor almost twice — the number of its distribution zone increased by only 7%. On a total quantity of base stations and the distribution zone of the standard LTE Tele2 занимает the third place in the industry. High dynamics of technical development of Tele2 is caused by the stable consumption growth of traffic clients and high-quality change of a subscriber base for benefit of active Internet users (+24% year-on-year according to the results of the first quarter 2019).

Our leadership in speed of construction is caused by organic development of Tele2 network — the press secretary of Tele2 Darya Kolesnikova told. — We do not pursue the number of stations, but we do focus on high-quality planning of network.

PJSC VimpelCom (a brand Beeline) on the second place. The operator increased quantity of BS LTE by 20% — up to 52,318 distribution zones. PJSC MegaFon grew for 12% — up to 98,111 BS LTE. MTS still takes the second place among operators of "Big Four" on a total quantity of BS LTE — 67,929, but speed of construction of network at the company among players the lowest (+9% since the beginning of year).

The press service of Beeline said that consider development and upgrade of LTE network by one of the main priorities of the company in 2019.

We save high rates of development of network from last year. Construction will be 2019 not less intensive. In addition to building of new BS, we actively invest in upgrade of network. For June, 2019 already 85% of capital network work in Ready 5G. In Moscow Beeline implements the Supersiti program which important part — creation of a 5G of network, qualitative and progressive, ready to implementation — Anna Aybasheva, the press secretary of Beeline told.

Neither rates, nor plans, by the number of BS open in the press service of MegaFon.

We aim to give to the clients the best technical capabilities for use of digital services therefore full-time work on improvement of communication quality and increase in a covering of network — one of priorities of the company — the manager on business communications of MegaFon Dmitry Lukyanchikov says.

MegaFon remains the leader in the number of base stations — 238,527. MTS has 183,250 base stations, at Tele2 — 167,654 and at Beeline — 156,977. On rates of development of networks of mobile communication since the beginning of year Tele2 (+13%) and Beeline (+7%) are in the lead.

In total in Russia more than 2 million distribution zone of different radio services are operated.[1]


Roskomnadzor: MegaFon is in the lead in the field of implementation of LTE networks in Russia

In the 2017th year the number of base stations of standard 4G of operators of "Big Four" in Russia grew by 32% up to 159.8 thousand objects, said in the report of Roskomnadzor. For the end of the 2017th year MegaFon locates the greatest number of base stations 4G - 65,9 of thousand. Then MTS - 45.2 thousand, VimpelCom - 26.3 thousand and "T2 of Mobile" - 22.2 thousand follows. MegaFon is also the leader in the total number of base stations of all standards according to the results of the 2017th year.

Based on the tests of speed which are carried out by the Russian users through the Speedtest application, MegaFon became operator with the best mobile Internet 4G, having taken the first position on data loading speed on the device — 25.04 Mbps. In a research on Russia the Ookla company analyzed data more than 7,500,000 tests of speed through networks of all operators from 1,500,000 devices with support of LTE.

Russia will test the standard of communication of McWill for Internet of Things

One of the Russian companies will receive frequencies for testing of the standard of communication of McWill (NG-1). This standard provides data transmission with a speed up to 15 Mbps and can be used, including, for Internet of Things, video transmission, work of corporate networks and networks of a mobile radio communication though experts do not consider him the competitor to the existing LTE.

According to Kommersant, the State Radio Frequency Commission (SCRF) should make on December 28, 2017 the decision the decision on selection of frequency band 1785–1805 MHz for half a year of Yunisel company which enters into the "NIRIT Sinvey Telecom Technology" (NSTT) group. During this term should be tested networks - in the Voronezh region they will be conducted with the distribution zone of civil appointment, in several regions will test the standard with the distribution zone of the military and a special purpose.

The McWill standard (NG-1) was approved as the international standard of broadband wireless access in 2010. It was developed by the Xinwei Telecom Enterprise group which structure is also NSTT. The Russian division began construction of McWill networks in the territory in 2016. The memorandum was also signed with the Tula regional corporation of development of public-private partnership about creation of the enterprise for equipment manufacturing for McWill.

Observers do not consider this standard the competitor of LTE, especially in the absence of the developed network. However frequencies about which there is a speech are between the bands used for GSM and LTE. In many countries this section is not used in any way, and application on it the new standard can be a suitable alternative.

The Russian Railway will be selected by 4G-frequencies on condition of compatibility with the Chinese standard

The State Radio Frequency Commission (SCRF) at a meeting is going to consider on December 28, 2017 a question of selection to Russian Railways (RR) of frequencies in the range of 1800 MHz (1785-1805 MHz) for trial operation. It follows from the draft decision of the commission, available CNews[2].

The Russian Railway wants to build network of fourth generation of cellular communication (4G) of the LTE standard. In the specified frequencies the eLTE technology – the kind of the LTE standard using the principle of time division of channels (LTE-TDD) can work.

The Russian Railway requests the specified frequencies for creation of a technology communication network along railway transport. Earlier the Russian Railway together with "Research Institute of Radio" (RIR) tested this technology along railway in the way in Moscow from the Paveletsky station to Domodedovo Airport.

MegaFon started Gigabit LTE network

As it became known on August 8, MegaFon began commercial operation of Gigabit LTE network. Peak speed of data loading during demonstration of opportunities in the operating network was 979 Mbps.[3]

Testing of network was held using smartphone Sony Xperia XZ Premium based on mobile Qualcomm Snapdragon platform 835 with the X16 LTE modem. From the base station the existing Nokia radio modules Flexi Multiradio which equip the majority of platforms of MegaFon to To Moscow both areas, and the system module AirScale Nokia ready to support were used 5G. For achievement of the speed of 979 Mbps are used aggregation of 3 carrier frequencies (two on 20 MHz 2600 FDD, one 20 MHz - 1800 FDD), modulation 256 QAM and technology 4x4 MIMO.

The gigabit LTE network is the qualitatively new level of stability of connection and speed of data loading for consumers. We are glad that Russia became one of the first European countries where there was a commercial gigabit LTE network and the device supporting this technology, and MegaFon has an opportunity to offer the subscribers this improbable user experience. Gigabit LTE is a major step on the way to a 5G — Yulia Klebanova, the vice president for business development of Qualcomm Europe Inc company said.

The Nokia company constantly invests in development of the innovative technologies which provide more and more high data transfer rates. Data transfer rate becomes one of the key factors stimulating implementation of innovations. Today's demonstration, using the solution LTE-A Pro Nokia is another important step to future start of 5G networks of MegaFon company. We are glad to joint cooperation in this project which successful carrying out will allow to offer subscribers of MegaFon experience of use of broadband services upon transition to a 5G — Demetrio Russo, the vice president of Nokia in the region Eastern Europe added in return.

The number of base stations of LTE in May grew by 3.4%

Growth of number of base stations of mobile communication of the LTE standard and the subsequent its modifications continued in May, 2017. According to the statistics of Roskomnadzor, in general across Russia this month there was an increase in quantity of such radio-electronic funds for 3.4%.

The greatest gain is noted at "Tele2". The number of the operating base stations of mobile communication of the LTE standard of this company increased by 5.2%. MegaFon takes the second place, the gain at this company made 4.5%. MTS increased distribution zone number by 3.4% and takes the third place.

VimpelCom – on the fourth place among the main mobile operators of communication. The gain of number of the distribution zone of the LTE standard of this company made 0.4%.

The number of base stations of LTE in May grew by 3.4%, 2017
The number of base stations of LTE in May grew by 3.4%, 2017

Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications: A quarter of base stations of mobile communication in Russia already works in the LTE standard

The Russian delegation headed by the Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation Nikolai Nikiforov took part in the World mobile congress (Mobile World Congress, MWC) which passes in Barcelona from February 27 to March 2. During the actions Nikolai Nikiforov made on the Ministerial program of the World mobile congress the report on development of communication in Russia.

The Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation noted that the idea of development of digital economy got approval at the highest political level. To Federal Assembly on December 1, 2016 the Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated in the message on the need formations of the large-scale system program of development of economy of new technology generation.

"It is impossible to develop digital economy without providing the population with modern communication services — Nikolai Nikiforov said. — The ministry is faced by a task to increase availability of communication services, and since 2012 it systemically and successfully is solved. So, if five years ago the level of penetration of services broadband access was about 50%, now it reached already 70%. Within the program of elimination of digital inequality we conduct large-scale construction of fiber lines of communication to localities numbering 250-500 people. The high-speed Internet already came almost to four thousand localities".

It is important that increase in availability of communication services happens at permanent reduction of prices that is reflected also in the international ratings, the minister noted. So, in a research of 2016 of the World Economic Forum "The index of readiness for network society" Russia took the second place in the world on the level of prices for mobile communication. Hong Kong is in the first place in rating, but it, obviously, cannot be compared to the extent of the territory of Russia, Nikolai Nikiforov told. Russia also took the tenth place in the world on the level of availability of services of broadband access in the Internet, having outstripped the USA by one point.

Among the measures promoting increase in cost efficiency of activity of operators, the Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications called introduction in Russia of the principle of technology neutrality which allowed operators to use the most modern technologies in all frequency ranges where mobile communication develops; the permission of sharing of frequencies and a communications infrastructure allowing operators to optimize the costs, to save on development of infrastructure; change of approach to collection of a payment for use of a radio frequency spectrum when operators pay not for the number of base stations, and for the volume of the radio-frequency resource used by them.

Nikolai Nikiforov reported that effective regulation of the market allowed to transfer the accelerated rates to technology of communication of fourth generation LTE considerable number of base stations in Russia. So, according to the minister, now, the number of the base stations working in the LTE standard in Russia makes already about a quarter of the total number of base stations of consumer mobile communication in the country.


J’son & Partners: the number of subscribers of the fixed broadband access grew by 1.5%

By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, the number of subscribers of the fixed broadband access in 2016 grew by 1.5% and made 30.8 million.

File:Число абонентов фиксированного ШПД в 2016.jpg
Number of subscribers of the fixed broadband access in 2016

In the conditions of the decreasing growth rates of the market telecom operators focus attention on service quality improvement, "the life term" and loyalty of subscribers more and more. For this purpose operators select the multiservice development strategy for the business. Operators develop digital channels of communication, implement package offers, create co-branded tariff plans, offer the subscriber more modern broadband access equipment, develop the additional services which are based on an Internet channel such as smart house, video surveillance, security alarm.

By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, in the cities with the population more than 100 thousand people package offers use about 44% of households, and further their share will only grow at the expense of a high share of package rates in new sales of operators. For example, among new subscribers of Rostelecom operator two thirds select package offers.

In 2016 development of the tariff plans including services of the fixed and mobile communication from one operator continued. In March, 2016 the VimpelCom operator brought to the market the convergent offer "VSYO in one", in November, 2016 the Rostelecom company brought into commercial operation mobile communication services under the brand. The ER-Telecom company started the joint project with MegaFon on batching of the fixed and mobile services. Earlier similar projects started MGTS and "NETBYNET" jointly with the parent companies. Similar offers have success among the population. According to VimpelCom company, "VSYO in one" was connected 500 thousand families in 10 months to service. For the end of 2016 more than 200,000 subscribers used mobile services from MGTS company.

By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, in the average and large cities of 1-2% of families already use four communication services from one operator. Implementation of similar solutions reduces outflow of subscribers, raises a customer loyalty and total sales from one household. The ER-Telecom operator notes that at connection of a packet "4 in 1" outflow is about 3-4 times less, than at connection of monoservice. A reverse side of package offers is decrease in ARPUPO to each single service which is in a package tariff plan.

In internal consumption of services of the fixed broadband access operators note growth of a share of online video in structure of the incoming traffic. According to AKADO Telecom, online video share in structure of consumption of traffic of one subscriber in network of the operator makes about 40%. Consumption growth of traffic stimulates growth of speeds and technology development of network infrastructure of operators. Even more often there are superfast offers at access rate in the Internet over 100 Mbps. By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, in the average and large cities the share of superfast tariff plans among users the fixed broadband access made nearly 10% at the end of 2016.

However operators go further in promotion of high speeds for the user. With growth of number of mobile devices in family data transfer rate on Wi - Fi - technologies becomes more and more relevant. On standard Wi - Fi - the equipment very high speed tariff plans do not make sense due to restriction of the speed of wireless data transmission in it. For the solution of this problem operators offer dual-band routers which work at two frequencies – 2.4 and 5 GHz – and provide higher data transfer rate on Wi-Fi. The outlined trend in 2014-2015 continues development, and more and more operators begin to offer advanced Wi - Fi - the equipment within the tariff plans on the fixed broadband access.

Assessment of a competitive situation

According to preliminary estimates J’son & Partners Consulting, at the end of 2016 top-5 operators serviced 70% of all subscribers of the fixed broadband Internet access in a private segment. In a year the share of leaders in the market increased by 3.2% due to activity in the M&A area and organic growth.

According to preliminary estimates J’son & Partners Consulting, for 2016 the general subscriber base top-5 players grew almost by 1.3 million subscribers, annual growth was 6.3%. In 2016 steady growth was shown by companies "Rostelecom", "ER-Telecom" and "MTS" – 56%, 24% and 16% of all new subscribers respectively. A part of new subscribers was received in the inorganic way due to purchase of local operators. In 2016 the Rostelecom company purchased providers "STORK" and "Morton Telecom". At the beginning of 2016 the ER-Telecom operator closed the deal on acquisition "Enforta", and in August the company redeemed from group "Vestkoll" business in a segment of fixed connection in St. Petersburg and Ryazan (the companies "Intertelecom" and Enling Telekommunikatsii).

Significant changes in rating top-5 operators of the fixed broadband access in 2016 did not happen. Rostelecom and ER-Telecom companies remain the leaders of the rating still.

Top trends in the Russian market of the fixed broadband Internet access among private users

Development of package tariff plans and convergent services

By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, in the cities with the population more than 100 thousand people package offers use about 44% of subscribers, and the total number of users is estimated by four services from one company ("quadroplay") at the level of 1–2% at once.

Growth of high-speed tariff plans (100 Mbps and more)

By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, in the average and large cities the share of superfast tariff plans (more than 100 Mbps) among users the fixed broadband access made nearly 10% at the end of 2016. More and more companies offer dual-band routers for implementation of high speeds through Wi-Fi. Such solution gives the chance more effectively to use the potential of similar speeds.

Growth of connections on optical technologies, including PON

At the end of 2016 about half a million users were connected to the Internet on PON technology. Due to active development and connection of subscribers by Rostelecom and MGTS companies in PON technology the share of such clients in the lump of broadband access users made 10%.

Activity of operators in the field of M&A

In 2016 the Rostelecom company purchased AIST and Morton Telecom providers. At the beginning of 2016 the ER-Telecom operator closed the deal on acquisition of Enforta, and in August the company redeemed from the Vestkoll group business in a segment of fixed connection in St. Petersburg and Ryazan (Intertelecom and Enling Telecommunications company). By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, in Russia there are about 20 independent providers with a subscriber base more than 50 thousand.

MTS starts networks 4.5G

The Mobile TeleSystems company (MTS) announced in December, 2016 start of LTE Advanced Pro technology - so-called 4.5G, the technology intermediate between the fifth and fourth generations of cellular communication. This technology provides transfer of downloading of data (downlink) with a speed up to 700 Mbps[4].

MTS began implementation LTE Advanced Pro in the large cities. In Ufa the company provides data transmission from base stations at speeds up to 700 Mbit/sec., in Yakutsk to 500 Mbit/sec., in St. Petersburg over 400 Mbit/sec., in Moscow - more than 300 Mbit/sec.

Applied aggregation of FDD frequencies to work of LTE Advanced Pro technology of MTS in the ranges of 1800 MHz and with TDD frequencies in the range of 2.6 GHz. Besides, MTS applied two other technology innovations - MIMO 4x4 and modulations 256 QAM.

The MIMO 4x4 technology assumes use of four antennas for acceptance and for data transmission. Now, in most cases, in LTE technology the solution MIMO 2x2 is used. As for modulation, now in LTE networks modulation 64 QAM for the entering data transmission channel and 16 QAM for outgoing is used.

Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications: The number of base stations of LTE in Russia exceeded 100 thousand

In December, 2016 the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation published data on the number of base stations of a mobile radiotelephone communication network of fourth generation (LTE) and the subsequent its modifications in Russia. Statistically, in ten months 2016 the number of base stations of a cellular transmission network of the LTE standard increased on 32,230 (45%) since the beginning of year and reached an indicator 104,208 that makes nearly 20% of a total quantity of base stations of consumer mobile communication in Russia.

The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation in 2013-2015 carried out the work aimed at liberalization of the legislation in the field of mobile communication. The accepted package of measures allowed to increase considerably cost efficiency of development of mobile networks in remote and hardly accessible regions of Russia. Among the measures implemented by the ministry — a possibility of sharing of frequencies and a communications infrastructure, change of the principle of payment of a radio frequency spectrum, technology neutrality for different frequency ranges.

Speed of the mobile Internet in Moscow grew by 35-40% in a year

Average speeds in the Moscow 3G networks and LTE grew by 35-40% in 2016 whereas in 2015 showed decrease to 15% in comparison with a previous period. At the end of 2016 Moscow wins first place on average and maximum speeds among all regions of Russia, reported in the research Telecomdailydlya [5]

Tele2 operator remains the leader in speed regulation characteristics in 3G networks of Moscow and Moscow area. In MTS LTE networks in a year yielded the palm to MegaFon. Tele2 which was lagging behind earlier also caught up with large players, notes the agency.

The best quality on establishment of connections was recorded at Tele2 and Beeline operators who showed a minimum of blocking and lack of breaks of voice calls. However on connection time and coefficient of voice quality first place was won by Tele2 and MegaFon.

In Russia earned network of LTE-450 standard

In May, 2016 the Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation took part in start of the Russia's first mobile network of LTE-450 standard. The standard allows to organize a covering modern communication services with high cost efficiency and to solve a problem of digital inequality in certain regions of the country. The Tver and Novgorod regions became the first regions where earned LTE-450 network.

Radius of a covering of cell of LTE in the range of 450 MHz is slightly less than 20 km. Capacity of LTE-450 for a band 3 MHz reaches 17 Mbps, for a band 5 MHz — 30 Mbps. On start services of the mobile Internet will be available to consumers, afterwards the operator is going to provide services to a voice communication.

Nikolai Nikiforov noted that the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation in 2013-2015 carries out the significant work aimed at liberalization of the legislation in the field of mobile communication. It is the whole package of measures which allowed to increase considerably cost efficiency of development of mobile networks in remote and hardly accessible regions of Russia. Among the measures implemented by the ministry — a possibility of sharing of frequencies and a communications infrastructure, change of the principle of payment of a radio frequency spectrum, technology neutrality for different frequency ranges. In particular, at a meeting of State Radio Frequency Commission (SCRF) which took place on July 22, 2014 the decision on use of radio frequency bands in the range of 453-457.4 MHz and 463-467.4 MHz for creation of communication networks of the LTE standard and the subsequent its modifications in all territory of the Russian Federation was made.

Speed of the Internet in the Russian 4G networks dropped by 10%

Average speed of data transmission in 4G networks in the Russian million-plus cities decreased by 10-12%, according to Telecom Daily which measured quality of LTE in the different cities during the period from December, 2014 to May-June, 2016.

It is noted that if in December, 2014 the average speed of data transmission 4G was 10 Mbps, then at the end of spring of 2016 it equaled already 9 Mbps.

Deceleration of speed 4G is connected with growth of load of networks. So, two years ago with support of LTE only 9.1 million subscribers used devices, in 2015 their quantity was already 23.7 million. According to forecasts of AC&M Consulting, by the end of 2016 this indicator will increase by 17%.

According to data for June, 2016, MTS LTE networks worked in all 15 Russian million-plus cities, MegaFon – in 14 (except Voronezh), VimpelCom (a brand Beeline) – in 13 (except Voronezh and Perm).

The highest access rate 4G at MegaFon — in six million-plus cities, including in Moscow and St. Petersburg, at VimpelCom — in five cities, at MTS — in four or three

Consolidation bearing FDD and TDD

On July 14, 2016 the companies Nokia also MTS announced implementation of technology of consolidation bearing FDD and TDD in commercial network LTE, in To Moscow, for expansion of a covering, capacity growth of network and service quality of subscribers.

As need of users for connection to mobile networks of different devices constantly grows, telecom operators aim to use the frequency ranges and radio resources which are available at their order most effectively. The technology of consolidation of bearing (Carrier aggregation) applied in the LTE Advanced standard allows to integrate non-adjacent frequency bands and to create wider channels for communication that leads as a result to fall forward of data transmission and gives the chance to provide new services.

Having unrolled a fragment of commercial network on the basis of the solution of Nokia on associations bearing with frequency and time duplex (FDD-TDD) in one of the business districts of Moscow, subscribers of MTS got access to transmission rates to 187 Mbps (for comparison: peak speed of FDD-LTE in a band 10 MHz is 75 Mbps, TD-LTE — 112 Mbps). Implementation of this technology increased quality of provision of services of TD-LTE in premises.

Nokia and MTS demonstrated three-component consolidation of the bearing FDD-LTE in network of the city of Moscow and are going to apply this technology in the future. Nokia and MTS continue trial operation and implementation of LTE Advanced technologies, LTE Advanced Pro and a 5G for soft junction in the future to networks of fifth generation.

Representation of LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation Nokia, (2014)

After standardization of functionality of consolidation of the bearing FDD-TDD for the ranges of 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz with assistance of Nokia within the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) project and its inclusion in the 3GPP Release 13 specification of the standard LTE Advanced Pro, telecom operators had an opportunity to fully use the resources which are available at their order in these frequency ranges.

Technical information

For aggregation bearing on technology base stations Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station Nokia and the software of FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE LTE Advanced FDD-TDD are used, at the same time frequency bands 10 MHz in the range of FDD of 1800 MHz and 20 MHz in the range of TDD of 2600 MHz integrate that allows to increase speed to 187 Mbps. At three-component aggregation on network the total frequency band made 25 MHz (in the range of 1800 MHz — 10 MHz, 2600 MHz — 10 MHz and 800 MHz — 5 MHz).

We constantly work on quality improvement and availability of services LTE, and cooperation with Nokia gives us the chance to provide the innovation and reliable services to our subscribers. Aggregation of FDD and TDD, unique for Russia, will allow us to increase the average speed of access for flagman smartphones by one and a half-two times. This technology is important for us since its further implementation in Russia will allow to increase efficiency of use of a frequency resource.

The technology of aggregation of the bearing LTE Advanced gives to operators the chance to lift efficiency of network to new level and thanks to fall forward of transfer to improve service quality of customers. This project became the next milestone in our old cooperation with MTS, and we will continue our work on testing of technologies which will allow the operator to move ahead on the way to a 5G.



J’son & Partners

The Russian market on number of the fixed users of broadband access takes the 1st place in Europe and the 4th place in the world. It is more fixed by broadband access users only in China, the USA and Japan. On penetration Russia takes the 8th place among 10 largest world markets of the fixed broadband access, advancing China and Brazil.

According to preliminary estimates J'son & PartnersConsulting, for 2015 number of users of the fixed broadband access in Russia grew by 2%, up to 30.3 million users.

Image:ШПД 2015 01.jpg

Assessment of a competitive situation

The general subscriber base top-5 players grew by 490 thousand subscribers, growth was 2.5%. In 2015 steady growth was shown by the companies "Rostelecom" and "MTS" – 284 and 147 thousand subscribers respectively. In the comments on this press release Rostelecom notes that high speed of construction of networks provides a gain of "optical" subscribers of broadband access with rates above the market.

Rostelecom and ER-Telecom companies remain the leaders of the rating still. In 2015 in the rating of operators of broadband access there were changes. The MTS company came to the third place on number of subscribers of broadband access, having displaced VimpelCom company on the fourth position.

As note in ER-Telecom in comments below, the company managed to execute planned targets on revenue and a subscriber base due to organic growth and transactions M&A. At the end of 2015 the subscriber base of service broadband access reached 2.8 million. The TransTeleCom company reports that her subscriber base grew quicker than the market – 6% for 2015. The AKADO Telecom operator also comments that, despite dumping of the main players, in 2015 the company managed to save the customer base of broadband access and to increase a share of users of complex services (The Internet + digital TV).

Top trends in the Russian market of the fixed broadband Internet access among private users:

Growth of high-speed tariff plans (100 Mbps and more)

For the last 2 years the share of users who selected tariff plans with a speed of 100 Mbps and more grew twice. Rates with a speed of 1 Mbps and below practically consigned to the past, no more than 3% of connections fall to their share.

Growth of connections on optical technologies, including PON

Growth of video services on the Internet requires the increasing band for comfortable use of service broadband access. With respect thereto active distribution of optical technologies at construction of data networks is observed (to the apartment of FTTH, FTTB building, etc.). According to J'son & Partners Consulting, in 2015 growth of subscribers of FTTH/B was 12%. The ADSL technology continues to lose positions. So, in the 2nd quarter 2015 dominance of "optical" users over "copper" at Rostelecom company became a milestone event that demonstrates obsolescence of ADSL and gradual leaving of this technology from the Russian ShPD market.

Growth of penetration of devices about broadband access and their variety (Multiscreen)

A variety of access devices grows in Russia and gradual substitution of desktop computers portable continues. By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, in Russia in 2015 desktop PCs 53% of families, – 63% used notebooks. Besides, for the last three years the average retail price of the smartphone and tablet PC decreased, even taking into account price increase in 2015. These devices became available to people with almost any income level, and their sales significantly increased. Thus, different family members began to use actively broadband access from different devices and often at the same time.


At the end of 2015 at MTS the most large number of base stations of LTE – is almost ahead of the closest competitor by one and a half thousand base stations – subscribers are serviced by 27365 stations in all regions of presence of MTS.

At the end of 2015 MTS of the first among the Russian operators started LTE networks in all regions of presence and today is also the largest LTE operator in Russia - speeds 4G from MTS are available to inhabitants of 83 regions of Russia. MTS has the best covering due to use of base stations of LTE-1800 which covering is 3-4 times more, than at normal BS.


Start of the fastest LTE network in world

On February 25, 2014 MegaFon announced start in commercial operation of the network of the LTE Advanced standard providing the speed of the mobile Internet to 300 Mbit/sec. According to Global association of suppliers of a mobile equipment (GSA), for launch such speed of the mobile Internet is the highest in the world.

As of February the new network functions within the Garden Ring of Moscow, and during 2014 the coverage of network should include all territory in MKAD, the operator promises. In further plans of the company – a covering high-speed network of the largest cities of Russia.

For creation of network of the new standard MegaFon uses in the range of 2600 MHz a unique combination of own spectral band and a frequency resource of Skartel network - as the virtual operator (MVNO). The cost of data services in new network will be equal to the cost of services in 3G networks and 4G.

The producer of network infrastructure and also subscriber equipment for new network of MegaFon,Huawei is. MegaFon notes that on the equipment of the last 14 of 37 test or planned to start LTE Advanced networks are constructed.

Especially for net surfing of LTE Advanced of Huawei also developed the Megafon Space router (R300-1) which is capable to provide Wi - Fi - access to LTE Advanced network for 32 devices at the same time. The cost of the router will be about 12 thousand rubles at connection of the option "Internet of XL" for a period of one and more months.

The first demonstration of opportunities of new network took place during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi where in the pavilion of MegaFon in the Olympic Park high-speed opportunities of LTE Advanced were shown. During the Olympic Games specialists of MegaFon and Huawei tested work of new network in the conditions of the high loads typical for mass actions. MegaFon says that results of these tests will be used at creation and upgrade of network of the latest standard in the capital and other regions.

It is required to the Russian army improved 4G in the battlefield

By 2016 the Russian army wants to receive the wireless system in the battlefield working on LTE Advanced — technology more modern, than developed by civil mobile operators of LTE — fourth generation of cellular communication. According to technical specifications of Minpromtorg (is at Izvestia), in 2016 tests of a prototype — the mobile base station, three exchange service stations and the network controller should begin. 160 million rubles[6] are selected for accomplishment of developmental works[7].

Speed of downloading of all types of the multimedia information (sound, video, cartography) will be from 100 Mbit per second. The network will be adaptive — at emergence of noises or the conflicts the transmitter and the receiver will pass to other frequency. It will also help to avoid influence the opponent's glushilok.

The broadband network should be encoded and at the same time support work in networks of commercial operators. Now the frequencies which are taken away for LTE networks in Russia are in sharing at the state and mobile operators.

The base station to which subscribers of network are connected will be mobile. Similar stations based on the KAMAZ trucks are already available for commercial operators, told in National Radio Engineering Bureau Ltd (renders advisory services for military and commercial telecom operators). There are mobile base stations on the basis of the KAMAZ trucks. For example, MegaFon will use them during the Olympic Games in Sochi. They provide communication at distance of 1-1.5 km — the representative of the company reported.

At the same time the employee of the company emphasized that it is still impossible to manufacture the equipment for LTE networks completely in Russia: chips, etc. which at us are not done are necessary.

Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications: LTE networks became available to 40% of the population of Russia

Networks of the LTE standard as of the beginning of November, 2014 work in 79 subjects of the Russian Federation and cover 40% of the population of the country, the number of active users exceeds 3 million people, the head reported Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications Nikolai Nikiforov, acting on government hour in the Federation Council. The shorthand report of a performance is posted on the website of the ministry[8].

Nikiforov noted that priorities for the ministry are among quality improvement of communication services, distribution of the latest infocommunication technologies, creation of conditions for development of a communications infrastructure.

"Increase in level of penetration of services of Internet access at a high speed for 10% creates GDP growth potential for 1.5%", - he said.

According to the minister, next year it is going to solve a problem of so-called digital inequality – to provide with communication fiber lines small localities - in the Astrakhan region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Republic of Adygea, Ingushetia, Kalmykia, Karelia, North Ossetia, Tyva, the Nenets and Yamal-Nenets autonomous areas.

J’son & Partners

According to J’son & Partners Consulting as of December 31, 2014 commercial networks LTE worked in all regions of Russia, except for Kamchatka Krai, the Magadan region, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and also the Crimea and Sevastopol. The MTS company is in the lead by the number of the regions covered with commercial 4G-networks (76 regions), further with small lag the MegaFon company (72 regions) follows and closes the three VimpelCom (44 regions). At Tele2 the only commercial network LTE in Tula is started. Each of local operators – Vaynakh Telecom, Motive and Tattelecom started LTE network in one region – the Chechen Republic, Sverdlovsk region and the Republic of Tatarstan, respectively.

By a preliminary estimate of J'son & Partners Consulting, by the number of the base stations (BS) 4G for the end of 2014 MegaFon was in the lead. Together with the subsidiary company "Yota (Skartel)" (Yota) the operator unrolled about 15 thousand base stations or about 41% of all base stations of LTE in Russia. Further MTS (about 13.6 thousand BS, 37%) and [9] (about 7 thousand BS, 19%) follow.

Image:lte 2014.png

MTS was succeeded to bypass MegaFon by the number of base stations 4G in Central and Northwest federal districts. By a preliminary estimate of J'son & Partners Consulting, the MTS company developed more than 5 thousand and 1.5 thousand base stations in these macroregions respectively.

Everything, by a preliminary estimate of J'son & Partners Consulting, by the end of 2014 in Russia 36.7 thousand base stations of LTE were built that almost by 3 times exceeds an indicator of 2013.

Among leading regions by the number of base stations with big a separation Moscow where more than 22% of all operating LTE stations in Russia are concentrated is in the lead. Also St. Petersburg and the Moscow region where 2.7 thousand and 1.9 thousand base stations, respectively were constructed (Tab. 1) got into top three. The largest federal cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg) with a big separation are in the lead also on such indicator as number of base stations on 1000 inhabitants – 0.56 and 0.52, respectively. The five of other regions on specific number of base stations counting on population included also Altai Republic, the Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast with indicators 0.48; 0.46 and 0.45, respectively (Tab. 2).

Image:lte 2014 регионы.png

Among regions outsiders on number of base stations there is LTE in each of macroregions – the Kostroma region (CFD), the Republic of Karelia (Northwestern Federal District), the Republic of Adygea (Southern Federal District), the Republic Northern Ossetia-Alania (North Caucasus federal district), the Ulyanovsk region (Volga federal district), the Kurgan region (Ural Federal District), the Kemerovo region (SFD) and the Sakhalin region (FEFD).

The greatest number of base stations of LTE was developed in the Central, Volga and Northwest federal districts.

Image:lte 2015 федеральные округа.png

The main perspectives of development of LTE networks in the nearest future (2015-2016) include:

  1. Appearance of the new federal operator of LTE. In 2015 start of the new federal operator of LTE which provides services under Tele2 brand is expected. At the end of 2014 the operator started the first commercial 4G network in Tula, in 2015 was going to start LTE networks under Tele2 brand in 20 regions.
  2. Sharing of network infrastructure (Network Sharing) for cost reduction of operators. At the end of 2014 MTS and VimpelCom signed the agreement on rendering complex services in the field of planning, joint development and operation of communication networks of the LTE standard according to which in 2014-2016 MTS provides construction jointly of the operated 4G networks in 19 regions, and VimpelCom builds base stations in 17 regions of Russia. The agreement is expected 7 years during which operators will provide each other base stations, platforms, their infrastructure and resources of a transport network in these regions. At the same time the companies can independent build networks for development of an individual covering of LTE. MegaFon, is in turn ready to share elements of network only in remote sparsely populated regions where it is difficult to pay back construction of the network.
  3. Use of the lower ranges of 1800 MHz and 800 MHz for cost reduction. Since January 1, 2015 the MTS company started LTE network in the range of 1800 MHz in Moscow. In 2015 the operator is going to implement LTE-1800 standard on several thousand base stations. The main objective of the operator – to reduce costs in comparison with implementation of new base stations in the range of 2600 MHz. For January, 2015 in the range of 1800 MHz BS LTE "MegaFon" in Moscow and Volgograd work. LTE-1800 network from Tele2 works in Tula. Also in June, 2014 Tattelecom put into operation LTE-1800 network in Tatarstan (in Kazan and more than in 30 cities and municipal districts of the republic). At the end of January the MTS company started also LTE-800 network in the capital region. By estimates of the company, use of the range of 800 MHz provides by 4 times a bigger covering in comparison with traditional networks LTE-2600.
  4. Starts of LTE Advanced. The most high-speed networks LTE Advanced - LTE Cat.6, up to 300 Mbps in forward channel – are started at MegaFon in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Also the operator started network LTE Cat.4 (to 150 Mbps) in Chelyabinsk. VimpelCom started LTE Advanced network in Moscow (to 110 Mbps).
  5. Growth of a subscriber base 4G. In 2014 high dynamics of a subscriber base of LTE remained. For example, according to MegaFon company, the subscriber base 4G of the operator grew in a year almost twice and by the end 3 quarters 2014 reached 2.6 million subscribers. According to forecasts of J'son & Partners Consulting, the number of subscribers of LTE in Russia will grow from 7 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2018. Main growth drivers will be:
  6. Expansion of a coverage of LTE networks
  7. Entry into the market of new players
  8. Growth in sales of devices with support of LTE, decrease in their average cost in dollar expression


According to the statistics of Roskomnadzor, the number of the operating base stations of this standard increased by 3.4 times – from 12,364 in 2013 to 42,047 according to the results of the 2014th. 2014 is characterized by dynamic development in the territory of the Russian Federation of networks of mobile radio (cellular) communication of LTE technology.

According to the statistics of Roskomnadzor, the number of the operating base stations of this standard increased by 3.4 times – from 12,364 in 2013 to 42,047 according to the results of the 2014th.

The largest number of base stations of the LTE standard is recorded in Moscow (7742), the Moscow Region (3109), St. Petersburg (3034), Krasnodar Krai (1722), the Rostov region (1648) and the Republic of Tatarstan (1642).

The leader in the number of the base stations of this most modern standard of mobile communication put into operation is OJSC MegaFon. Together with Skartel LLC it locates 18.2 thousand base stations (44%). Further follow JSC MTS - 14.8 (35%), JSC VimpelCom - 7.3 thousand (17%).

Other operators having licenses for communication services provision in this standard significantly lag behind. So, SMARTS Kazan Ltd going on the fourth place at the end of 2014 located only 788 base stations of LTE technology (1.9% of a total quantity).

The most demanded for development of communication networks of the LTE standard is the RF spectrum 2620 – 2690 MHz (77.5% of base stations).


LTE goes to the small Russian cities

On September 12, 2013 the Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Nikolai Nikiforov reported at a meeting with the president Vladimir Putin on a current status and plans for ensuring availability of modern communication services to citizens of Russia.

Heads of Presidential Administration and Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, heads of the leading television companies and profile holdings and also core shareholders of "the big three" of mobile operators also participated in a meeting.

Concerning a meeting it is said in the statement of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications that in its course Nikiforov announced the decision of VimpelCom (Beeline works under a brand),MegaFon and MTS which received LTE licenses in 2012 to provide communication in localities from 10 thousand to 50 thousand inhabitants in size within own investment programs.

This project will potentially provide with modern communication services 23 million people living in these localities note in the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications.

Department reminded that license requirements within tender of distribution of LTE frequencies of May 3, 2012 ordered to provide with communication only the cities with the population more than 50 thousand inhabitants. About 79 million people live in such localities that makes 55% of the population of the country.

Besides, telecom operators together with the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications agreed about a preliminary estimate of additional costs on providing with modern communication services about 5 thousand localities of the size of population from 500 to 10 thousand inhabitants. Such package of measures will provide broadband access to network of 133 million residents of Russia (about 93% of all population).

At a meeting with the president "perspective plan" of development of communication in small localities more than 250 inhabitants in size within fund of a reserve of universal service also provided Rostelecom.

Forecast of J'son & Partners

According to the optimistic forecast of J'son & Partners, by 2018 in Russia 20 million subscribers of LTE, on conservative - only 10 million will appear. At the end of 2013 the Russian share in sales of LTE devices will grow from 0.6% to 2%.[10]

By this time, by estimates of J'son & Partners, the share of sales of smartphones with support of LTE will make 15% on the general sales of smartphones, a share of sales of LTE tablets - 8% of the total number of the Russian sales of tablets, and from the sold USB modems of 30% will support LTE.

Analysts call the main obstacles to development of LTE technology in Russia. These are the high prices of subscriber devices with its support, insufficient awareness of users on LTE and group of technology problems among which there are problems with standardization of voice transmission in LTE networks, harmonization of a frequency range in the different countries for provision of services in roaming, etc.

In vision of J'son & Partners there are three scenarios of development of LTE technology in Russia: conservative, basic and optimistic.

According to the conservative scenario, the base of the Russian users of LTE by 2018 will not exceed 10 million, and the lineup of smartphones with support of LTE will be limited till 2014-2015.

According to the basic scenario, the subscriber base by 2018 will reach 15 million users, and according to the optimistic scenario the subscriber base will approach 20 million.

2012: LTE walks across Russia

  • On February 2, 2012 it became known that Roskomnadzor granted MTS the license for provision of services of communication in LTE networks. The license works until the end of 2016, to render services it is necessary to begin no later than the end of 2013. In Moscow the LTE network is already ready, MTS will include it as soon as gets permission from Roskomnadzor, the representative of the operator Valery Kuzmenko says. Just recently the company completed upgrade of capital network, having replaced base stations on 3000 platforms with the equipment of Nokia Networks (before NSN)(NSN), working on GSM, UMTS (3G) and LTE technologies. Project cost (taking into account replacement of 1500 base stations in Moscow area in 2012) is about $50 million.

But MTS will be able to start network in Moscow only after there take place tenders on federal sets of frequencies for LTE (791-862 MHz) — set such condition in September, 2011. State commission on radio frequencies (SCRF). Tenders had to take place till February 1, 2012, but even their conditions for the present are not announced. Roskomnadzor waits for a release of the government decree with changes in the allocation table of frequencies, the representative of supervisory authority explained.

According to the September decision of SCRF the right to build LTE networks in the capital is had not at one MTS, but also at "Yota (Skartel) and" (Yota brand) and MegaFon. Skartel started upgrade of the WiMax-network in Moscow about New year and intended to begin commercial use of LTE network in March, 2012. But there was a hitch because of the Ministry of Defence — the ministry did not approve use necessary for LTE frequencies yet, explains a source in one of telecom operators. Though the license allowing to work in the LTE standard through the whole country, Skartel received in November, 2011, the CEO Denis Sverdlov notes it. And in December, 2011 the operator started the Russia's first LTE network — in Novosibirsk. Then he sent to the Main radio-frequency center of the request for use of frequencies in Moscow and waits for results of examination, Sverdlov says.

MegaFon so far only designs LTE network in Moscow — most likely, it will also be constructed on the equipment of NSN. The design stage should end in March, 2012, one of contractors of the operator knows. On the LTE license in the Moscow region MegaFon already sent documents to Roskomnadzor and expects to receive it in the middle of February, the head of his press service Dmitry Smirkin says. At MegaFon the experienced network LTE in Sochi where the company received frequencies as the telecommunication partner of the Olympic Games is already built. According to the source in the companies, MegaFon is going to bring networks in Moscow and Sochi into commercial operation in 2012.

First of all MTS will include LTE in places of accumulation of traffic, for example in shopping centers, the vice president for the equipment Andrey Ushatsky told the other day journalists it. According to him, before the company the task to provide a carpet of Moscow is not necessary: thanks to "backward compatibility" of the equipment (it can switch from 3G in LTE and back) at loss of a LTE signal the subscriber for himself will imperceptibly "fail" in 3G-network. Existence 3G-and GSM networks and a possibility of seamless transition between them and LTE network — competitive advantage of MTS before Skartel which has no such networks, Kuzmenko adds.

At VimpelCom of frequencies for LTE in Moscow is not present, it expects to win them at tender. But the company has necessary resources and examination, and the equipment in Moscow mostly already supports the LTE standard, the representative of VimpelCom Anna Aybasheva[11] says[11].

  • In April, 2012 it became known that MegaFon the first of "the big three" will start mobile communication of fourth generation of the LTE standard. On April 23 the first network — in Novosibirsk earned, the Deputy CEO of MegaFon Valery Ermakov[12] told[12].

It is the first experience of cooperation of MegaFon with Skartel in development of communication of fourth generation (4G). Each operator will service the subscribers on own conditions, but in the general network.

At the beginning of 2012 Skartel, owning the frequencies of 2.5-2.7 GHz through the whole country, permitted MegaFon to use the base stations, and that provided "Skartela the infrastructure, access to platforms for placement of base stations, to trunk channels and also data processing centers. The prices — uniform through the whole country at the market level, Ermakov says. Conditions depend on the region, but market prices, the employee of the press service of Skartel adds.

Most mobile operators are forced to wait for tender on which Roskomnadzor promised to expose four federal sets of frequencies for LTE. (SCRF) charged to hold this competition State commission on radio frequencies to supervising department till February 1, 2012, but it is not even announced so far. Skartela of SCRF issued the necessary frequencies in September, 2011, three months later the operator started the Novosibirsk network in the test mode, full start starts today.

In LTE network of MegaFon it is only still possible to exchange data, but not to talk: the operator offers the modems of Huawei working in all ranges and standards of mobile Internet access — both 2G (GSM), and 3G, and 4G of LTE. Ermakov considers compatibility with networks 2G and 3G the main technology advantage of LTE network of MegaFon: owners of the devices supporting LTE at an exit from an area of coverage of new network will be automatically intercepted by 3G networks and 2G, let and at lower speeds.

Now in Novosibirsk 150 base stations of LTE are set, until the end of their 2012 will become 250, they for 100% will cover the cities and partially — area, Ermakov promises.

On queue both MegaFon, and at Skartel has Moscow: Skartel will start LTE network here on May 10, and MegaFon — on May 14. According to Skartel, in Moscow 1200 base stations 4G already work. There is enough to cover the territory in the Third Ring Road, Ermakov says.

Internet access of Yota is rated depending on speed, the subscriber selects it: the quicker — the more expensively. For 900 rub a month the subscriber gets unlimited access with a speed of 5 Mbps (instead of 2.1 Mbps in former network Yota Wimax).

And subscribers of MegaFon in the first two months after start 4G in Novosibirsk will be able to enter into the Internet free of charge (including in networks 2G and 3G), it is necessary to pay only for the modem — 2990 rub (as much there is also a Yota modem). How to rate service then, it is not solved yet.

In the world two models of tariffing: European where access through LTE network is significantly more expensive, than through 3G, and American where LTE — mass service, the analyst of iKS-Consulting Maxim Savvatin knows.

In Russia solvent demand is limited, Savvatin considers, high rates to MegaFon are hardly profitable. Ermakov is not inclined to turn services of LTE network into bonus too: on the contrary, it could undertake a part of escalating load of 3G networks.

Hundred fifty Novosibirsk base stations cost approximately $10 million, the CEO "Yota (Skartel) and" Denis Sverdlov said in December, 2011. In Moscow about $80 million could be required by the operator. At MegaFon almost all expenses are payments of Skartelu, direct investments minimum, Ermakov says.

Rostelecom also agreed about joint provision of services of LTE based on frequencies of Skartel. In the summer it will test the Moscow network LTE, and on September 1 will begin commercial operation, the representative Kira Kiryukhina promises it. MTS hopes for participation in tender of Roskomnadzor — the equipment of MTS in all large cities is already capable to work in the LTE standard, the press secretary of MTS Valeria Kuzmenko says. VimpelCom also waits for tender on frequencies for LTE, the press secretary Anna Aybasheva says it.

  • In May, 2012 MegaFon started commercial services of LTE-FDD in the Moscow region. Several days before the LTE network in the capital the Yota company (Skartel), and with the same frequency range, as MegaFon started. In February, 2012 these two operators signed the agreement on joint development of network infrastructure 4G in Moscow. Within the agreement MegaFon provided Skartela the websites for placement of base stations 4G, channels to these base stations, transport on trunk sections, the areas in DPC for placement of the equipment of Yota and also a possibility of use by clients of Yota of networks of MegaFon of the second and third generation for data transmission. Skartel in turn provided to MegaFon access to the radio network converted from WiMAX in LTE.

As the associate director of MegaFon company on operating activities Valery Ermakov explained, when using the general frequency resource by two operators the quality of service will not suffer. Average speed of access will be several times higher, than 3 Mbps in the operating UMTS network of MegaFon, and peak will be able to reach 50 Mbps.

According to Ermakov, services of mobile data transmission have "the huge potential for growth". In the Moscow network of third generation 3.5 million unique subscribers using service of mobile data transmission are registered already and in 2011 networks of branch passed 4.5 times more mobile traffic, than in 2010.

As the commercial director of capital branch of MegaFon company Natalya Spitsyna reported, now 4G network covers Moscow and its next satellite towns — all about one thousand base stations of LTE are involved. By the end of 2012 their number will increase to 3 thousand. Investments of the operator into this project for last half a year made about 700 million rubles. In plans — it is active to promote services LTE out of borders of the capital, until the end of 2012 it is decided to cover practically all large cities of the Moscow region.

Spitsyna considers too that LTE waits for commercial success. She pays attention that at the time of start of 3G-network of MegaFon in brand Moscow salons of the company was on sale on average in one 3G-modem a day. And for June of the 2012th, at start of LTE, each salon sells on average in five modems a day. "It means that the market is in anticipation of a new evolutionary step in development of network, waits for the mobile high-speed Internet" — she emphasized. For launch the LTE company sold more than one thousand E392 modems.

Till July 14 buyers of modems could use the mobile Internet in 4G network of MegaFon free of charge and without restrictions on speed and volume. Then services became paid. The preliminary scale of charges is already announced. The two first a rate will be unlimited on traffic volume, but with restrictions on bandwidth. In the easiest rate (monthly payments in the amount of 950 rub are provided) the maximum speed of access is 6 Mbps. At payment of 1200 rub a month the upper bar is raised up to 10 Mbps. And for 1500 rub clients will be able to use the broadband mobile Internet without restrictions on the volume of traffic and speed of connection. By the end of the year the Moscow branch of MegaFon is going to connect 50 thousand subscribers of LTE.

  • In July, 2012 frequencies for construction of networks of fourth generation won MTS, VimpelCom, MegaFon and Rostelecom at tender. Even before frequencies for LTE were received by Skartel, Osnova telecom and Antares.

The first LTE networks were unrolled in a number of the cities (Novosibirsk, Moscow, Samara, Ufa, Vladivostok, the cities of Krasnodar Krai) by Yota company. On August 30 Yota started LTE in Kazan, at the same time on its network as virtual operators there began work MegaFon and MTS, on August 31 to LTE from Yota became available in St. Petersburg, in the same day on its network started 4G and MegaFon. MTS is going to start 4G in St. Petersburg at the beginning of 2013.

Beeline is going to enter club of LTE only at the beginning of 2013. Rostelecom conducts negotiations with Yota on start 4G in Moscow as the virtual operator[13].

Image:Абонентская база (тыс.) и рыночные доли операторов LTE в России 2012 г.png

According to GSA for May, 2013, in the world there were 175 commercial networks LTE in 70 countries. By the end of 2013 it is predicted that 248 such networks will be developed in 87 countries.

The first commercial network LTE in Russia was started at the beginning of 2012. By March, 2013 the network of Skartel company (Yota trademark), except Moscow and St. Petersburg, covered 93 more cities in 27 subjects of the Russian Federation. Besides, own networks in an unpaired range (TDD-LTE) started MTS and MegaFon in Moscow. Generally commercial networks LTE are concentrated in the cities of the European part of Russia, and only several cities are covered in Siberia and in the Far East.

By estimates of J'son & Partners Consulting, at the end of 2012 the number of subscribers of LTE in Russia exceeded 850 thousand or less than 1% of a world indicator (about 100 million). At the same time penetration 4G in Russia made no more than 0.4% of the number of active SIM cards of mobile communication. The market is actually monopolized by Skartel and MegaFon companies of which about 99% of subscribers of LTE in Russia are the share.

One of the main restraining factors of market development of LTE in Russia, according to analysts, – restrained competition (including because of impossibility of operators to agree on conditions within the MVNO project with Skartel) and, as a result, high rates for LTE.

For September, 2012 in Russia the following networks LTE work:

  • Megafon: Moscow, Novosibirsk, Krasnodar. Prepare for start of network in Sochi, Samara, Ufa, Kostroma, St. Petersburg. Until the end of 2012 MegaFon is going to put into operation LTE networks in several tens large cities of Russia.

  • Yota: Moscow, St. Petersburg (Megafon as the virtual operator), Sochi, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Samara, Krasnodar and the cities of edge, Vladivostok, Kazan (at the same time in Kazan on its network as virtual operators there began work MegaFon and MTS).

  • MTS: Moscow. MTS is going to start 4G in St. Petersburg at the beginning of 2013.

Start of LTE in the Chechen republic as the chairman of the board of Vaynakh Telecom telecommunication company Adam Yaragiyev reported was planned for August, 2012.

  • Beeline is going to enter club of LTE only at the beginning of 2013.

  • Rostelecom conducts negotiations with Yota on start 4G in Moscow as the virtual operator.

According to forecasts of J'son Partners, in 2012 the number of the Russian users of LTE can say among 1 million, and by 2015 is capable to reach 13.5 million people.


Creation and disorder of LTE alliance based on Skartel

  • On March 3, 2011 in the presence of the prime minister Vladimir Putin the agreement between mobile operators was signed by VimpelCom, MegaFon, MTS, Rostelecom and WiMAX-operator "Yota (Skartel)" (Yota) on whom operators will get access to future LTE infrastructure of Skartela network.

Under the terms of the agreement till 2014 Yota should build LTE network on own means. And "the big three" and Rostelecom will begin to rent on commercial terms at Yota the capacity of the built network for providing the services. The possibility of the redemption by "the big three" and Rostelecom of equal number of the stocks "Skartela" at the current only owner — Russian Technologies is provided in the agreement of intent. Thus all participants will be able to become owners on 20% of LTE network.

Advantages of such approach seemed undoubted. According to the CEO of Yota Denis Sverdlov, his company by 2014 was ready to build LTE network in 180 cities of Russia, having spent for it $2 billion. It was supposed that these costs project participants will compensate Skartela by payment for use of network. At the same time each of them will save on the capital investments in comparison with if it built network. As a result of project implementation also the question of extremely scarce radio frequencies for LTE would be permitted: it is obvious that it is easier to find them for one network, than for three-four, even smaller on capacity.

Sharing of communication networks still had no precedents in Russia. Not accidentally at agreement signature there were a Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Igor Shchegolev and representatives of owners of the companies — participants of the agreement: president of Alfa-Bank Pyotr Aven, chairman of the board of directors of AFK "Sistema" Vladimir Yevtushenkov, CEO of Rostec (State Corporation) state corporation Sergey Chemezov.

  • In April, 2011, the Osnova-Telecom company created with the assistance of the Ministry of Defence showed to the president Dmitry Medvedev work of the Russia's first test network LTE. In the city situated near Moscow the Cuban by means of LTE was organized video conference between three cars moving with a speed of 120 km/h, and stationary command center. The president was in one of avtomobitel and observed network functioning on the monitor. The Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Igor Shchegolev, the Minister of Defence Anatoly Serdyukov and his deputy Dmitry Chushkin also took part in demonstration. The network is unrolled in the range of 2.3 - 2.4 GHz on the TDD LTE technology assuming resource sharing between subscribers on time channels. Earlier Osnova Telecom held comparative testing of the equipment of WiMAX and LTE from different producers based on which the company preferred LTE solutions of Motorola and Huawei.

  • On April 25, 2011 it became known that the Arbitration court of Moscow prohibited State commission to issue on radio frequencies (SCRF) frequencies in the range of 2.3-2.4 GHz before decision in the claim of Saturn, Modul and Stroyresurs companies. It is said in the determination of court posted on its[12].

These three companies in February, 2008 submitted to SCRF applications for use of these frequencies in all territory of Russia for construction of WiMax-network, follows from determination of court. But SCRF did not begin to consider them. Now these three companies filed a lawsuit against the commission to oblige her it to make. Besides, each of the companies requires 300 million rubles compensation from SCRF. The preliminary meeting in the claim is appointed to May 11, 2011.

The address of Saturn specified on the website of court, Module and Stroyresurs matches the address of the companies of the Antares group belonging to the businessman Evgeny Roytman who specializes, in particular, in wireless communication. All three companies belong to Roytman, confirms a source, close to it.

Roytman's companies are afraid that the commission can issue these frequencies for permanent use to other applicants, "despite existence of earlier requests" therefore asked about interim measures, said in determination of court. The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications does not know about interim measures, the representative says it.

Rostelecom — the only legal applicant for the frequency of 2.3-2.4 GHz, the representative Oleg Rumyantsev claims it.

  • On September 8, 2011 the report of consortium of "Big Four" formed the basis of the decision of SCRF to play the frequency of 790-862 MHz at tender between four applicants, to issue to winners still bands in the range of 2.5-2.7 GHz and to oblige them to finance independently conversion of the frequencies occupied by military. A question of whether it is possible to build LTE networks in the ranges of 900/1800 MHz which are available for all GSM operators, SCRF postponed for the II quarter 2012.

At the same meeting Naum Marder scolded participants of consortium for the fact that contrary to the recommendations of SCRF it remained closed for new members.

  • On September 28, 2011 it became known that the "LTE Union" founded by cellular "Big Four" and which developed the principles of distribution of frequencies to mobile communication of fourth generation (4G) performed the functions and is not necessary to the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications any more. About a possibility of construction of 4G networks in the ranges of 900/1800 MHz which are nowadays occupied with GSM networks, the state will think already.

The operator consortium "Union of LTE" executed the function — investigated a possibility of construction of 4G networks of the LTE standard in the different ranges, the Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Naum Marder at[12] said [12]. It was necessary to study expediency of creation of LTE networks in the ranges of 900 and 1800 MHz, but these works will be performed by the state already without consortium, he added.

"The LTE union" at last is registered — it occurred on August 30, 2011, the CEO Gulnara Hasyanova told on September 28, 2011 it. All who showed desire to enter it, informed on an opportunity to submit applications for membership: Transtelecom was informed by consortium, and Tele2 and SMARTS — Rostelecom, she specified. But while there is no request, Hasyanova is surprised. Representatives of Transtelecom, Tele2 and SMARTS claim that no notifications were received. "News that now it is possible to enter consortium, of course, pleasant, but here more than ever by the way a saying "One does not sharpen the axes after the time they are needed" — the CEO of SMARTS Andrey Girev says. Especially as from "the LTE Union" more already nothing is required. According to Girev, did not solve, whether to join SMARTS consortium yet. Time is consolidation already carried out the task, you should not enter it, perhaps, the source in Transtelecom agrees. And the representative of Tele2 was limited to words that the company is ready to cooperate on implementation of LTE in Russia with any organizations.

If to consider a task of consortium preparation of the decision of SCRF, then it is executed, Malis agrees. But he considers to disband it wrong: "The LTE union" was the effective tool, and it can be used for the solution of other industry tasks for example connected with conversion. The consortium is going to investigate a possibility of use of the frequencies of 900/1800 MHz for LTE networks too, Hasyanova told yesterday. The consortium will continue work concerning release of frequencies, the representative of MTS Valeria Kuzmenko confirms. Also VimpelCom is not going to leave consortium, the press secretary Anna Aybasheva reported it: implementation of LTE will be the long project and can repeatedly demand involvement of operators still. Representatives of MegaFon and Rostelecom refused comments.

  • For October 10, 2011 the project of sharing by four largest Russian operators of network of broadband wireless access on LTE technology which the Yota company should construct is rather dead, than is alive. In spite of the fact that all four — Rostelecom, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), VimpelCom (Beeline) and MegaFon — do not say aloud "no" to this project, the lack of any promotion on the way of its implementation within seven months speaks for itself. But just like that it will not be possible to keep silent with it. The matter is that at an agreement signature ceremony about intentions on joint network LTE there was a prime minister Vladimir Putin. According to his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, having assumed liabilities in the presence of the prime minister, signers will not be able to evade from their accomplishment any more.

Participants had to sign the binding agreement about conditions of sharing of network and the possible redemption of shares in it in June, 2011. But it did not occur still. Signs that practically none of "Big Four" will hurry with entry into "cooperative" of LTE appeared several days later after agreement signature about intentions. Representatives of the mobile operators which declared plans to join cooperation in a conversation with Marker said that before signing the binding agreement, it is necessary to solve a number of problems: settle terms of options for the redemption of shares in the general network and the price which should be paid Skartela for use of network to the redemption. Besides, participants were disturbed by uncertainty of conditions of joint operation of network and a problem of shortage of a radio-frequency resource for Skartela LTE network.

File:LTE-схема на базе Скартел 10 2011.jpg

Already then participants of the transaction did not express big optimism about the fact that all these questions will find the adequate solution.

Even when the State commission on radio frequencies (SCRF) in September, 2011 provided to Yota continuous frequency band 60 MHz wide, having increased its frequency resource by 1.5-2 times depending on the region, it did not impress agreement parties and did not induce them to more active actions. Most likely, they initially expected more independent work on LTE, than the general network. The three of mobile operators and Rostelecom by then, according to the decision of SCRF, created "Consortium 4G (the Union of LTE)" which had to develop offers on development of LTE in Russia and provide them for adoption of the relevant decisions by State commission. All consortium members were obviously calculated that they will receive some preferences at distribution of frequencies under LTE, and amicably declared priority of the participation in consortium. As a result of SCRF decided to expose frequencies on an open competition, having made an exception only for Yota, having expanded its resource. Despite it, Rostelecom and the cellular companies paid more attention to work in consortium and almost any — preparation of the agreement with Yota.

For October 10, 2011, most likely, agreement parties only pretend that the project moves ahead. Rostelecom and VimpelCom declare seemingly ongoing work on preparation of the binding agreement, however can tell nothing about what is almost made in this direction. As for possible purchase of shares in Yota network, or do not comment on this question, or follows from answers that there is no arrangement on the reasonable price of this purchase also in mention, declared a source in Rostelecom. The official representative of MTS Elena Kokhanovskaya also said that consultations on the binding agreement about joint network based on Yota continue. However before to sign it, MTS needs to analyze in general the perspectives of occurrence on the market of LTE. It will be possible to pass to signing of the contract with Yota only after MTS decides on the strategy according to LTE, including a possibility of construction of own network. Representatives of MegaFon tell nothing about the course of preparation of the agreement on joint network at all.

Complete silence of the most concerned party in all this story — Yota company is especially indicative. Her representative refused comments on the fate of the project of joint network at all. Yota will hardly be able independently to "raise" $2 billion investments for LTE with long term of payback moreover in the conditions of fierce competition with larger companies on behalf of Rostelecom and the cellular "big three". And here agreement signature on joint network would mean for Yota the guaranteed financing for the next three years and, so the secure future. Apparently, all agreement parties, except Yota wishing to drop a question.

However it will be extremely difficult to make it. Presence of the prime minister when signing gives to the agreement the exclusive status. Really, Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Marker that the government constantly controls a situation with agreement performance about intentions on joint operation of LTE network based on infrastructure of Yota company. According to him, signers undertook obligations in the presence of Vladimir Putin and can hardly refuse their accomplishment now. As Peskov emphasized, the government sees attempts of some agreement parties to depart from the project, "however it is impossible to call their such actions correct".

  • On November 30, 2011 it became known that the alliance of four operators of LTE concluded in the presence of Vladimir Putin collapsed[14]. MegaFon and Rostelecom are ready to conclude with the only thing builder LTE for today — company "Yota (Skartel)" — the separate agreement. It means that their subscribers will receive communication of fourth generation a year earlier, than MTS and VimpelCom

In March, 2012 in Russia should earn the first networks of fourth generation (LTE) which are built now in Moscow and Novosibirsk by Skartel operator (Yota brand). The main advantage of LTE — high-speed Internet access (up to 173 Mbps). Most likely, not one will render services of Skartel, and with Rostelecom and MegaFon — negotiations on it are almost completed, told Vedomosti sources in these companies. MegaFon and Rostelecom will become virtual LTE operators: rent capacities of Skartel and will work at them under the brands.

It is supposed that costs on construction of networks will lay down entirely on Skartel: only in Moscow he is going to set 1550 base stations of Huawei. Proceeding from project scale, one base station can cost approximately $30,000, the partner of iKS-Consulting Konstantin Ankilov so costs in Moscow it is reached $46.5 million estimates.

Skartel — the only Russian operator having a federal frequency assembly for construction of LTE networks (in the range of 2.5-2.7 GHz) and the right to use them. He acquired this right in September, 2011 from State commission on radio frequencies (SCRF). Then SCRF permitted to build LTE networks of company "Osnova telecom" (which 74.9% belong to the son of the former Minister of Energy Igor Yusufov Vitaly, and 25.1% — to the under control Ministry of Defence to Voentelecom) — in all regions in the range of 2.3-2.4 GHz. But Osnova tests the equipment so far and does not hurry with building: the subscriber devices supporting LTE at frequencies of 2.3-2.4 GHz, read units the representative of the company explains.

Frequencies in the same range in March, 2010 were won at tenders by Rostelecom, but only in 39 regions (There is no Moscow among them, Novosibirsk is); besides, these frequencies were issued for construction of WiMax networks, but not LTE. Therefore Rostelecom, as well as operators of the cellular "big three" — MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom — lays hopes for tenders on which Roskomnadzor promises to play four sets of LTE frequencies in the range of 791-862 MHz, and then to issue to winners still 20 MHz in the range of 2.5-2.7 GHz.

Tenders should take place in the I quarter 2012, but, having even won them, operators will not be able immediately to begin to build networks — at first they should release the won frequencies nowadays occupied by other users (first of all military). Costs for conversion of the frequencies of 791-862 MHz will make 52 billion rubles, estimated in the summer the consortium "Union of LTE" founded by Rostelecom, MTS, VimpelCom and MegaFon.

The realistic term of clearing of frequencies and construction of LTE network — from the moment of summing up tender, the top manager of one of operators of "the big three" estimated year. However, in Moscow at MTS (and MegaFon) is on 25 MHz in the range of 2.5-2.7 GHz on which if desired it is possible to start LTE.

Generally all four called operators had to get access to Skartela network. But the binding agreement was not signed: shareholders of MTS and VimpelCom had doubts in adequacy of terms offered by Skartel told sources, close to negotiators. Therefore Rostelecom and MegaFon began separate negotiations with Skartel and succeeded. Thus, MegaFon can offer subscribers 4G for a year before competitors. And Rostelecom will for the first time enter the Moscow mobile communications market.

For both companies it will be "good public relations", but their subscribers will not get radical advantages, considers a source in one of the competing companies. At least because any phone, the tablet computer or the notebook with support of LTE still officially is not imported into Russia, the leading analyst of Mobile Research Group Eldar Murtazin says. But already the modems working both in 3G, and in 4G are on sale, and also phones will appear over time, LTE networks already work more than in 10 countries, parries a source in one of mobile operators. For example, Samsung releases five mobile devices supporting LTE, and as soon as in Russia the commercial network LTE appears, is ready to begin them to import here, the commercial director of the company Sergey Pevnev says.

  • In September, 2011 the State commission on radio frequencies (SCRF) permitted to use the range of 2.3-2.4 GHz for networks on the basis of LTE technology. For the end of 2011 it was unknown whether for these networks the condition of application of the Russian equipment will work, or not. If this requirement for LTE networks is cancelled, then all efforts on development of criteria of telecommunication equipment of the Russian origin can be vain: now other cases when these criteria would be required, no.

  • On December 2, 2011 it became known that Rostelecom and Yota signed the agreement on joint development and use of wireless networks of communication of fourth generation (4G). Signatures under the agreement were appended by the president of Rostelecom Alexander Provotorov and the director of Yota Denis Sverdlov[11].

Within the signed agreement Yota grants to Rostelecom the right to use wireless links of the network and to render to clients communication services using the MVNO mechanism (Mobile Virtual Network Operator – the virtual cellular operator) and also to use the platforms which are available for Yota for placement of telecommunication equipment and wire channels of communication to these platforms.

Rostelecom, in turn, grants to Yota the right on use of wire channels of communication to platforms of placement of telecommunication equipment, channels of accession to the Internet, trunk communication channels between the cities which are available for Rostelecom of platforms for placement of telecommunication equipment and the data processing centers.

According to the president of Rostelecom Alexander Provotorov, "joint development and use of infrastructure will allow the companies to reduce considerably terms of construction of 4G networks, to lower at the same time capital costs and also it is essential to reduce operating costs. All this will make possible not only in the shortest possible time to begin provision of services of 4G networks, but also to increase the number of residents of Russia who will be able to use them".

The cost of construction of networks in Russia

Investments into construction of 4G networks will make 85.7 billion rubles ($2.9 billion) for each operator, follows from the report of the consortium of operators "Union of LTE" sent to State commission on radichastota[15]. A part of means will go for conversion of the range of 690-880 MHz — 52 billion rubles. Calculations were based on the assumption that operators will build dual-band network (690-880 and 2500-2700 MHz), and the range, available to construction of networks, will be divided between four companies. Such scheme of separation of a frequency range is offered by Union of LTE which includes only four operators now: MTS, MegaFon, VimpelCom and Rostelecom. The consortium assumed that with LTE networks localities about more than 1000 inhabitants should be covered. For this purpose each of operators should set on all Russia 20 810 of base stations.

According to consortium, the operator of LTE network will receive the first revenue in 2014. In a year it will come to a positive indicator of OIBDA, and for the second year of work its profitability according to OIBDA will make 53% (above, than now at operators of "Big Four"). And by 2020 when, according to forecasts of consortium, LTE traffic completely forces out 3G, profitability of the operator of LTE according to OIBDA will make 68%. But investments into construction of LTE networks will pay off only in 6.7 years, the report says, and complete costs — in 7.7 years. Under favorable conditions construction of LTE network can pay off also in 2.5-3 after its input in commercial operation, the representative of Tele2 (builds LTE network in Sweden) Alexander Bakhorin says. The payback period of such networks in the world — about seven years, in Russia will be not less, the CEO of the Volga region operator of SMARTS Andrey Girev assumes.

The Swedish-Finnish TeliaSonera, the first-ever started LTE network in Stockholm and Oslo, does not open financial performance of this project. But investments into LTE were much lower, than in 3G as infrastructure for these networks is already ready, the representative of TeliaSonera Thomas Jonson says. Payback periods and costs for LTE can be less if to build networks at frequencies which are used by GSM networks, Bakhorin from Tele2 considers. And SMARTS if the principle of technology neutrality is entered, expects to begin to build in 2012 LTE networks at the available GSM frequencies, Girev says. However, the consortium LTE considers that to permit to use GSM frequencies for LTE now is inexpedient.

The consortium considered also the possibility of construction of 10 single-range networks (in the different ranges) that would allow to construct to LTE bigger number of operators. The constructed in the "lower" range, such networks, by calculations of consortium, will cost cheaper — 63 billion rubles on the operator ($2.14 billion), but will pay off only in 16 years: because of smaller capacity revenue will be lower. And to cover all Russia with full-fledged network in the range of 2300-2400 MHz it would cost operators 653.7 billion rubles ($22.2 billion) and would hardly pay off, the report says. It matches calculations of Rostelecom: according to a source, close to it, the cost of construction of federal network LTE in this range from scratch — about $20 billion. But Rostelecom already has a mobile business so it should not build network from scratch. Unlike other applicant for these frequencies — Osnovy telecom which as calculates the Ministry of Defence, will construct at them LTE network for state agencies.

2008-2010: Fight for frequencies for LTE networks

  • Range of 2.3-2.4 GHz is suitable for construction not only WiMax-networks, but also cellular transmission networks of fourth generation in the LTE standard. In April, 2008 SCRF decided to select frequencies in this range without restrictions, but in January, 2009 suspended consideration of requests as this resource was announced by limited.

  • In August, 2009 SCRF decided that there are enough frequencies in the range of 2.3-2.4 GHz for construction of network of only one operator, and frequencies in 40 regions were exposed on tender. In March, 2010 the majority of competitions was won by the companies of Svyazinvest (integrated based on Rostelecom later). But in December, 2010 SCRF issued these frequencies for construction of experienced network of Osnova telecom company which 74.9% belong to Vitaly Yusufov, and 25.1% — to the under control Ministry of Defence to Voentelecom. And about providing these frequencies of the president Dmitry Medvedev to Osnova the Minister of Defence Anatoly Serdyukov asked. And the Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Naum Marder did not exclude that according to the results of tests results of March tenders can cancel.

  • At the end of December, 2010. The state commission on radio frequencies (SCRF) offered four operators — Rostelecom, MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom — to create consortium, open for all interested persons, to find out at what frequencies optimum to build LTE networks in Russia. But nobody, except members of "Big Four", happened to participate in work of consortium — Tele2 which was torn there, either SMARTS, or Transtelecom. The chairman of the board of "the LTE Union" Oleg Malis explained it with a technical reason — the consortium was conceived as non-profit organization which registration procedure very long. However, the dragged-out registration process of "the LTE Union" did not prevent four market leaders to create a time-division multiplex, to conduct researches of frequencies, to develop offers under the terms of tenders and to provide all this to SCRF.

Advantages of LTE to subscribers

Start of LTE leads to the 50 percent growth of traffic

In the summer of 2012 the analytical agency Informa Telecoms & Media and the application developer for the Mobidia smartphones prepared the research devoted to trends in the field of mobile data. Authors of the report analyzed information which arrived from 1.5 million users who downloaded mobile application of Mobidia My Data Manager. Thus, subscribers of more than 600 mobile operators participated in a research worldwide.

The main pattern which was noted by analysts is that deployment of LTE networks and distribution of the corresponding devices leads to growth of Internet traffic by 50% and more. At the same time high speeds in mobile networks of fourth generation allow owners of phones to use applications which application was limited earlier to Wi-fi networks.

For summer of 2012 users of mobile devices prefer to connect to the web using Wi-Fi spot jotas. Best of all it is visible on the example of owners of iPhone: they have a traffic disproportion through cellular networks and Wi-Fi can reach huge values, for example, in Germany the difference makes 10 times, the report says.

To hold the market of the mobile Internet, mobile operators need to invest in infrastructure of high-speed networks LTE, Thomas Vemeyer, the leading analyst of Informa comes to a conclusion. Providers of communication also should advance mobile applications which due to the continuity of the LTE cellular network give to users additional opportunities, the expert recommends. At last, it is necessary to create correctly price policy that subscribers used the cellular Internet more actively.

Criticism of LTE

Pioneers in the field of mobile broadband access, for example the Japanese company NTT DoCoMo, are performed optimism concerning commercial perspectives 4G. But for June, 2012 a number of experts pay attention that LTE ecosystem ripened not enough and many aspects of transition to fourth generation of mobile communication need additional study.

Telecom operators such problems as concern:

  • standardization of services of voice transmission in LTE networks,
  • harmonization of a range in the different countries for provision of services in roaming,
  • integration of obligatory services of public security,
  • investment payback in infrastructure 4G and, of course
  • perspectives of development of the LTE standard.

Vulnerabilities in 4G of LTE allow to trace traffic of subscribers and to substitute data

The joint group of researchers from the Ruhr and New York universities published[16] in the summer of 2018 the report in which described three types of the attacks operating vulnerabilities in standard 4G LTE. Two of them are passive and allow to trace LTE traffic and to get different more information about a destination object. Using the third, received the name aLTEr, attacking can substitute the data sent to the device and define what sites are visited by the victim from[17] gadget[18].

Researchers tested the attack of aLTEr in a series of experiments during which they managed to redirect users on the harmful websites, having changed DNS packets. Video with demonstration of process is given below:

All three vulnerabilities mention the data link layer (Data Link layer, level 2) 4G of LTE. Problems are connected with lack of due diligence of integrity by transfer of packets that gives attacking an opportunity to intercept and modify the ciphered data packets 4G and then to relay them on cellular towers. The attacks cannot be carried out far off - the malefactor should be close and force the user to be connected to the device.

According to experts, vulnerabilities also mention standard 5G in its current type. Though the additional safety features protecting from the attack of aLTEr, now are provided in the standard they are optsionalna.

The command already transferred information on vulnerabilities of International association of mobile operators (GSM Association), to consortium 3GPP (develops specifications for mobile telephony) and a number of telekomkompaniye.

Different technology modes

One of the main advantages of this technology — an opportunity to use the broad range of frequencies — turned back big problems for market participants. LTE supports several tens of operating ranges and two technology modes — duplex frequency-division (FDD) and duplex time-division (TDD) of channels. Different operators within one country (or in the different countries) implement different versions of LTE, proceeding from local conditions of load of a radio frequency spectrum and instructions of the regulator. In this multifrequency chaos ensuring seamless roaming for subscribers becomes the most difficult, and sometimes an impracticable task. It is unlikely someone from producers of terminals will begin to release devices with support of several even if most popular frequency ranges and LTE modes — FDD and TDD. For example, iPad3 tablets with support of LTE are focused mainly on the American market, and their owners in Russia will not be able to be connected to 4G networks of domestic operators.

Impossibility of voice transmission

For June, 2012 63 companies presented at the world market of 347 terminals for work in LTE networks, and the vast majority of them are modems, routers, femtocells, notebooks and tablets for the wireless Internet access and other services focused on data transmission. Only 64 models from the devices which are available in the market — smartphones. But they cannot give voice traffic on LTE networks (except for the VoIP applications). Lack of standard approaches in questions of voice transmission — an Achilles' heel of LTE.

Economy against LTE

And still the main obstacle in a way to mass implementation of LTE — lack of guarantees of return of investments. Gulnara Hasyanova, the chief executive of the Russian Union of LTE, in May, 2012 reminded that domestic operators did not complete network of third generation yet and did not manage to justify investments in them.

Really, operators of "the big three" report that about 75% of the population of Russia are in an area of coverage of 3G networks. But if to look at the number of localities in which services of third generation are available we will see that like those no more than 15% of a total quantity of the Russian cities and villages. At the same time revenues of all mobile operators of Russia from services of mobile data transmission, according to Hasyanova, were in 2011 about 2.3 billion dollars instead of the predicted 4.7 billion dollars. Meanwhile each of operators of "the big three" annually invests in construction of infrastructure 3G 2 billion dollars (within several last years). It is obvious that investments in 3G will pay off not soon, Hasyanova draws a conclusion. She separates forecasts of analysts that in the closest years of service of mobile voice communication on the basis of networks 2G and 3G will continue to dominate in structure of revenue of operators, exceeding income from the mobile Internet four times.

"Operators will unroll expensive infrastructure of LTE, but will not receive significant return from it. And a considerable part of revenue from data services will form in 3G networks which covering in the next four-five years will be wider, than at LTE. The paradox turns out: all shout ‘let's start 4G’, but these projects have no due economic case" — Hasyanova noted.

At the same time she specified that the data transmission traffic grows in mobile networks after the exhibitor and the volume of consumption of data in mobile networks aims at the volume of consumption by subscribers of the fixed networks. Operators are forced to reckon with this trend. Therefore transition to LTE is dictated not by economic feasibility, it is forced reply to the requests of the users demanding increase in access rate and unlimited rates for mobile data transmission. The share of services LTE in revenues of the Russian operators will make about 10% in 2015, Hasyanova summarizes.

Optimists, however, have arguments. First of all they expect rapid growth of the new markets, such as M2M. This segment so far only arises, but conceals in itself huge perspectives.

J’son & Partners Consulting predicts growth of number of M2M devices in the territory of Russia by 2015 by 8.5 times in comparison with 2010 — to 18.4 million devices, at the same time the share of M2M-devices will reach 6% of total number of subscribers of mobile communication. The volume of the Russian market of M2M-solutions will grow by 2015 by 3.1 times, to 107.5 billion rubles. Presumably will make 14.4 billion rubles of this amount of costs for communication services.

LTE will also scoop income in such segments as mobile telemedicine, mobile TV, mobile games, at last, in a segment of the fixed access though it is still not really well developed in Russia.

But anyway the business model of implementation of LTE suitable for operators of the USA, Japan and Western Europe, should be considerably processed and adapted to unique Russian conditions, Hasyanova draws a conclusion.

The history of start of networks in the world

2017: Record speed — more than 1 Gbps

In August, 2017 it became known of achievement of record data transfer rate in networks of fourth generation (4G) — more than 1 Gbps. It was set by Verizon, Qualcomm and  Ericsson in North America.

The companies achieved speed in 1.07 Gbps  in a downside channel thanks to LAA technology in Gigabit LTE network and aggregation only three bearing 20 MHz wide in  the FDD range. Thus, the new level of efficiency use of a frequency range in commercial network and devices was reached, says Ericsson.

Verizon, Qualcomm and Ericsson set a new record of speed in 4G network
Verizon, Qualcomm and Ericsson set a new record of speed in 4G network

LTE радиосистемы and program providing from Ericsson company and also the LTE modem, the first in the market, with support of speeds of Category 18 —  Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 participated in tests. Data were transferred by 12 flows at the same time that gave growth of peak speed by 20% and also increase in capacity and average speeds of data transmission in network. 

Configuration 4x4 MIMO on bearing using a set of antennas on each tower of each cellular communication and the user devices for optimization of speeds was involved.

Modulation 256 QAM on each bearing allowed to exchange large volumes of data between the user devices and network that gave the chance to transfer more data by each transfer and to provide significant increase in speeds. 

Cooperation with Verizon and Ericsson helped us first to break a speed barrier in 1 Gbit/sec. using our Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. It is an important step on the way to a 5G which will allow to provide higher average speeds of data transmission for all subscribers and to bring the user experience to new level — Mike Finley told Qualcomm in North America.[19]

2016: OpenSignal: The fastest Internet 4G in the former Soviet Union in Lithuania, the slowest – in Russia

Results of the report of the OpenSignal agency in which development of LTE networks for 2016 is reflected in the world are like that.

The OpenSignal agency published the report in which displayed a status of development of LTE networks for 2016 in the world. Estimates are made on the basis of data from more than 500 thousand users which went on-line from 17 million points during the period from July 1 to September 30, 2016.

Indicators of the countries of the former Soviet Union are given in the table. For comparison, in the world on a covering LTE networks South Korea – 95.71% of the territory, the minimum indicator at Sri Lanka – 40.27% is in the lead. On speed Singapore – 45.86mb/with is in the lead, and closes rating Costa Rica – 5.82mb/page.

Scope and speed of LTE networks in the former Soviet Union

Image:Охват и скорость LTE-сетей на постсоветском пространстве 2016 01.jpg

Comparable indicators, however, "attached" to operators are given in a similar research the previous year (for the end of September, 2015). So within one country all operators owning LTE networks are considered. In the table the maximum indicator of one operator of the country for 2015, but not average, as in the report of 2016 Ошибка цитирования Отсутствует закрывающий тег </ref>.

The market of LTE is very mobile, the situation quickly changes both in certain regions, and in the world in general. For example, last year on speed in 4G networks in the world New Zealand with an indicator in 29 Mbps was in the lead that is 1.5 times lower than the speed of the leader of this year. Similar to a situation it develops also in the former Soviet Union, in some countries (Georgia, Kazakhstan) in process of development of networks in a year speed grew more than twice.

2012: In detail 72 commercial networks

For June, 2012, according to global association of suppliers of a mobile equipment of GSA, 72 commercial networks LTE are developed in 37 countries, but large networks are not much. On the planet there are only ten of megalopolises where services 4G are available to subscribers, and Moscow is included into their number. And all in the world was invested in LTE already by 319 operators in 97 countries. From them 258 operators are going to start commercial operation of LTE networks in the nearest future; 61 companies carries out tests of the networks.


The operating networks in the world

  • For March, 2011 already began commercial operation of LTE networks of 17 operators in Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the USA and Uzbekistan.

  • According to the report on development of LTE association GSA (Global Mobile Supplier Association) for October 12, 2011, all in the world there are 35 commercial networks LTE - 18 of them use the complete solution SingleRAN LTE Huawei.

Analytical report: LTE Global Outlook and Forecasts, 2010-2014 BMI

Plans of start of networks: 196 operators in the world invest in technology

For March, 2011 196 operators in the world invest in creation of networks of wireless broadband communication on LTE technology, said in a research of Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) association[20].

Obligations to unroll commercial networks LTE undertook 140 operators in 56 countries of the world. In a year the number of such operators grew up more, than twice.

56 more operators began test operation of LTE networks.

Thus, according to a research, 196 telecom operators in 75 countries for March, 2011 invest in development of new technology of wireless communication.

According to the forecast of GSA, 73 new LTE networks will be brought into commercial operation until the end of 2012.

Geographically from 140 networks which confirmed commercial start in America – 29 LTE networks, in Europe – 64, in the region the Middle East and Africa – 14 both the Pacific Rim and Oceania – 33 LTE networks.

In the spring of 2011 in a number of the countries carrying out tenders on the license LTE with the frequency range of 2.6 GHz and frequencies of "a digital dividend"/700, 800 MHz / is expected.

According to the forecast of Juniper Research, by 2015 the number of the subscribers using the communication services provided on the LTE standard will increase by 600 times to 300 million in comparison with 500 thousand in 2010. At the same time 90% of all subscribers of LTE by 2015 will fall on three regions: North America, Western Europe and the countries of the Far East which China, Japan and Korea are among.

2010: Start of Verizon LTE network in the USA

One of the first LTE networks was started by the American company Verizon. As of the beginning of December, 2010 the network covered 38 American cities, offering data transfer rate of 5-12 Mbps in descending and 2-5 Mbps in the uplink channel.

After modems the first smartphones with support of LTE were available for sale. 1 GHz and the display 4.3 inches became one of them HTC Thunderbolt 4G with the processor. During 2011 some vendors are going to release the first tablets with support of the new standard.

2009: Start of the first-ever LTE network in Stockholm

 On December 14, 2009, start of the first-ever mobile network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology took place. The network was put into operation by Telia Company operator (before TeliaSonera) Sonera in the center of Stockholm. Telecommunication equipment is provided by the Swedish company Ericsson within the contract signed at the beginning of 2009. It is initial it was going to perform commercial start of the first-ever LTE network in  2010, but the parties managed to outstrip the diagram. Ericsson provided base stations, the reference equipment, switches, operation and management system. All solutions were created on the basis of the standards founded by the world organization 3GPP. Residents of Stockholm by means of the LTE modems of Samsung gone testing for working capacity to TeliaSonera networks in October, 2009 can use new technology. For connection to notebooks the USB interface is provided in modems. According to official representatives of TeliaSonera, the LTE network started by them allows to use easily such services as "video on demand", providing stream transfer without video delays in Full HD resolution.


  1. Tele2 almost overtook MTS
  2. of the Russian Railway will select 4G-frequencies on condition of compatibility with the Chinese standard
  3. MegaFon gave start to commercial operation of network of gigabit LTE (Gigabit LTE)
  4. of CNews: MTS starts networks 4.5G
  5. of to collect data on communication, analysts within more than three weeks in November, 2016 carried out test drive of services of a voice communication and mobile Internet access. The total amount of the loaded data at all operators was more than 600 GB, measurements were carried out throughout more than 1300 km using the car equipped with measuring complexes.
  6. [ of Izvestia
  7.  : It is required to the Russian army improved 4G in the battlefield]
  8. of LTE network of steel 40% of the population of Russia are available
  9. VimpelCom
  10. LTE perspectives in Russia are predicted
  11. 11,0 11,1 11,2 [
  12. 12,0 12,1 12,2 12,3 12,4 [ of#ixzz1sqJDTouz B Novosibirsk
  13. In the Internet at the fourth speed
  14. MegaFon and Rostelecom are ready to sign the separate agreement with Skartel
  15. Creation of networks of fourth generation will cost each of operators $2.9 billion
  16. Breaking LTE on Layer Two
  17. [ the Vulnerability
  18. in 4G of LTE allow to trace traffic of subscribers and to substitute data]
  19. Gigabit speeds blast to 1.07 Gbps in North America
  20. of Nearly 200 operators in the world invest in LTE