development of 5G networks
Cellular companies do not agree with several key points of the draft 5G development concept in Russia, developed by the Ministry of Communications. This is stated in the recall of Rostelecom, which also serves as the center of competence in the information infrastructure of the Digital Economy program.
According to Vedomosti , the operators are not primarily satisfied with the fact that the frequency range of 4.4–4.99 GHz in the project is called an alternative to the frequencies of 3.4–3.8 GHz. He considers the latter range to be the best for 5G networks, namely it is used by operators in a number of other countries, however, in Russia, operators cannot yet get frequencies from this range to create 5G networks due to the position of the Security Council: the “gold” range is used for communication between the military and Roskosmos.
According to a representative of Rostelecom, the issue of radio frequency resource for fifth-generation networks remains a key one – operators are confident that in their current form the concept will not allow building networks effectively and developing the market. Companies are convinced that the 3.4-3.8 GHz band should be the primary frequency band for 5G. Note, it was recently reported that the use of the 4.4-4.99 GHz band will not allow the creation of 5G networks in St. Petersburg and other border areas, since these frequencies are used for the work of the air and sea border services of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
In addition, market participants do not agree that the state intends to participate in the joint venture (JV) of the operators, which should engage in clearing frequencies for 5G . Recall that last December, Rostelecom, MegaFon, VimpelCom and MTS entered into an agreement of intent to create a joint venture with equal shares for clearing the 5G frequency spectrum in the ranges of 700 MHz, 3.4–3.8 GHz, 4 , 4–4.99 GHz and 24.25–29.5 GHz in all regions of Russia. As a base for it was considered the company “New Digital Solutions” – a joint venture of MegaFon and Rostelecom, created in January 2019. The concept says that if the state has a share in the joint venture, then operators will be able to get frequencies for 5G without bidding.
According to Anna Serebryanikova, head of the Digital Infrastructure ANO Digital Economy working group, the construction of 5G networks operating in the 4.4-4.99 GHz band will cost about 2 trillion rubles. At the same time, cleaning up frequencies in the range of 3.4–3.8 GHz will require several times less money, says a representative of Rostelecom, according to whom, a network at frequencies of 4.4–4.99 GHz will cost 2.5– 3 times more expensive than the network at frequencies of 3.4-3.8 GHz. Among other things, this difference is due to the need to install more base stations.