Operators did not use the frequency of winning for 8 billion rubles.

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Photo: Yakov Andreev / RIA Novosti

The winners of the auction 2016 frequency for the development of mobile Internet almost do not use the resource. More than 8 billion rubles cellular companies have paid to create a Foundation for the future

As found RBC, the winners of the second Russian in the history of the auction for radio frequencies for mobile communication do not intend to scale to use the resource and are prepared to include only a small number of base stations after completing the license requirement only formally. The auction was held in February 2016, and, under the terms of the licenses obtained by the winners, they must start providing services no later than April 15, 2017. A representative of one of the market participants explained that the auction was premature: “the Operators have not yet implemented all of the frequencies that they had at the time. The crisis affected the ability of capital costs.”

In the second auction (the first was held in 2015) MTS won the 2595-2620 MHz frequency all over Russia, excluding Moscow, Moscow region, Crimea and Sevastopol; “MegaFon” won the 2570-2595 MHz frequencies in 40 regions; VimpelCom — 32; “Ekaterinburg-2000” (brand “Motive”) — five; “daughter” “Tattelekom Your mobiles” (brand name “Fly”) and the Chechen operator “Vainakh Telecom” — one of the regions. In April of that year, these companies have received licenses to provide mobile communication services using these frequencies.

While MTS has paid for spectrum at auction of 3.97 billion rubles., Megaphone — 1.9 billion rubles, VimpelCom — 1.5 billion rubles, “Ekaterinburg-2000” — 664 mln, TMT — 155 million rubles, “Vainakh Telecom” — 50,3 mln. in addition, the winners had to pay compensation to the companies that used frequency to them, which in sum amounted to a further 1.4 bn (a large part of these funds was to be given to MTS).

Met the condition for show

The representative of MTS Dmitry Solodovnikov told RBC that the company was in compliance with licence terms and uses won at auction, the resource in several regions for the development of LTE-Advanced technology (more advanced version of LTE, refers to 4.5 G). In Ufa it is possible to increase the maximum speed of data transmission in a mobile network to 700 Mbps in Yakutsk — up to 500 Mbps in Saint-Petersburg — up to over 400 Mbps, said Solodovnikov. The maximum speed for LTE could reach up to 326,4 Mbit/s. While in Moscow and the Moscow region, MTS received a similar resource in 2012 and also is developing the LTE-Advanced technology. Here the data transfer speed reaches 300 MB/s. According to Solodovnikov, first and foremost, the company has chosen those areas where data services are in high demand.

According to the representative of “MegaFon”, the company will begin rendering services within the terms prescribed in the license. “In 2017 we will build the base station 10% of settlements with a population of 10 thousand people each, which corresponds to the license requirements, — said the representative of the company. — The use of this frequency resource will provide an opportunity to dramatically increase the speed of mobile Internet for customers.” He said that all other settlements with a population of more than 10 thousand people, the company will have to cover for six years. The representative of “MegaFon” insists that the statement “not tightened with the deployment of the network, and moves in accordance with the schedule prescribed in the license.” But not said why not faster.

Press-Secretary of “VimpelCom” Anna Aybasheva also says the company fulfills all licensing requirements in the regions, where he won the frequency. “This allows us to increase the capacity of our LTE network for subscribers whose phones support this band — says Aybasheva. — The larger the capacitance, the higher the speed of the Internet. This will enable you to provide customers with more quality services.”

Marketing Director of “Tattelecom” Alexander Smirnov said that the company has started to launch the first upgraded base station using won on auction frequency. These stations were set up in Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny and Almetyevsk. Smirnov noted that the range of these stations is less than that operating in the 1800 MHz band. Therefore, the company yet considers it inappropriate to use them outside of major settlements. According to the representative “Tattelecom” if the device subscribers supports the integration of frequencies from different bands, the speed of Internet access through the use of new frequency resources will increase about three times, if not supported — twice. However, in either case, it is necessary that the subscriber’s device and was able to work in the range that uses the company. According to “Tattelecom” such, approximately 50% of all devices registered with a network operator.

In “Ekaterinburg-2000” did not answer the questions of RBC. The company had previously said that the new spectrum will allow her to go to a new region — Tyumen oblast. While the company did not announce the implementation of the plan. To contact “Vainakh Telecom” RBC failed on the company’s website States that the speed of data transmission in the network of the company is up to 60 Mbps.

A representative of one of the market participants noted that the auction is in February of 2016 was untimely. “However, the state is required to conduct auctions”, — said the interlocutor of RBC. “Any frequency resource is worth its weight in gold. When you give, you need to take,” explained another participant in the market, motives of participation in the auction.

License on demand

According to the representative of Roscomnadzor Vadim Ampelonskiy, after April 15, the Agency will send the operators of the queries on the conditions of the licenses and compare the answers with their account database was electronic equipment. The test will take about a month. In the case of violations will be assigned to the procedure, systematic observations, and its results — unscheduled inspection, the results of which issued an order (with grounds). If the operator does not correct the violation within the prescribed period, Roskomnadzor has the right to address in court with the requirement to cancel the license. In the case of winners of the auctions the revocation of the licence would mean loss of frequencies, said Ampelonskiy.

“Typically, operators try to prevent such. For example, last year we recorded a violation of the VimpelCom license for the provision of LTE services, won the competition in 2012, the company did not meet the requirement for admission to its network to virtual mobile operators. Was appointed systematic observation, but since VimpelCom has eliminated the violation, to the requirements is not reached,” said Ampelonskiy.

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