Russia Delays Launch of 5G Networks

Russian mobile operators will not be able to use the frequencies that they already have for the deployment of 5G networks, reports.

The State Commission for Radio Frequencies was expected to issue permission to use the frequencies that are now occupied by 2G, 3G, and LTE. However, after the recent meeting, the decision disappeared from the draft, sources close to the three communications companies, and a person familiar with the materials of the State Committee for Radio Frequencies told the news outlet. 

Two sources also claim that the meeting of the commission was postponed from March 10, tentatively to March 17.

The Ministry of Communications did not comment on the development. A source close with the managers of several operators, and a person familiar with the documents told the newspaper that representatives of several departments spoke out against it, including the Federal Security Service and Roscosmos.

State institutions that use adjacent frequencies fear that 5G in the proposed ranges will interfere with their radio equipment, one of the sources added noting that it particularly concerns space communication systems.

According to Vadim Poskakukhin, Project Manager of the Spectrum Management projects, the frequencies mentioned in the draft decision would allow combining 5G and LTE networks in one channel, which could make the quick launch possible without completely replacing equipment.

According to him, this would lead to the first 5G base stations becoming operational in spring, and large-scale coverage could be set up by the end of the year. Postponing the issue to the second half of the year will lead to a 5G launch at least in 2021.

Meanwhile, the range of 3.4-3.8 GHz used by popular 5G equipment is designated in Russia to the Ministry of Defense and Roscosmos.

“Unfortunately, there is no progress towards using the 3.4-3.8 GHz range, where the whole world will build 5G networks,” a representative of Rostelecom told Vedomosti.

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