GSMA Says Mobile Broadband Poised to Take Off in Russia
December 6, 2006 // Published as a news service by IHS
The mobile sector in Russia has achieved extraordinary growth over the past three years - the number of mobile connections has more than quadrupled to 146 million - thanks to a government policy that has allowed market forces to thrive, said the GSMA.
The Russian government announced that it will tender 3G licenses in the 2 GHz spectrum band early next year.
The smooth licensing and rollout of 3G networks would enable Russians to use their handsets to access the Internet at high speeds, download video and audio clips and tap a host of other mobile broadband services, as well as to connect desktops and laptops to the Internet using wireless broadband.
"Russia has already achieved more than 100% mobile penetration thanks to the huge popularity of wireless communications among Russians and the government's good work in fostering a market driven mobile sector based on strong competition," said Tom Phillips, chief government & regulatory affairs officer at the GSMA.
"A transparent 3G licensing process, with well-thought out and clear rules for the bidders and based on thorough consultation with all stakeholders in the mobile sector will give the industry the confidence to invest in new mobile broadband infrastructure that will help fuel social and economic development."
In Moscow, the GSMA hosted a workshop on 3G licensing in cooperation with the 3G Association of Russia and supported by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies of the Russian Federation.
"Implementation of new generation services helps to develop an infocommunication society in Russia," said Boris Antonyuk, deputy minister of information technologies and communications of the Russian Federation. He also mentioned the wide-ranging activity of the GSMA and the 3G Association in the field of networks implementation.
Alexander Krupnov, president of the 3G Association, emphasized the importance of interaction among international organizations. He said that the workshop demonstrated the importance of international experience in facilitating the development of new mobile services in Russia.
He also pointed to the 3G Association's increasing role in the development of new mobile services in Russia and said that the association registered to change its name to Infocommunication Services Market Participants Union (Infocommunication Union).
Other participants at the workshop included senior executives from Russian mobile operators and representatives of research and scientific centers. Frontier Economics, the international consultancy, presented a study on spectrum auctions and tenders, which stresses the importance of a dialog between government and the private sector to ensure that the licensing process encourages investment in new mobile infrastructure.
A full copy of the study, which was commissioned by the GSMA, can be found in Russian and English at www.gsmworld.com.
Source: GSM Association (GSMA).