Last month, the “big three” mobile operators (Vodafone, Kyivstar, Lifecell) began to expand the coverage of 4G LTE networks (they received licenses to launch 4G LTE in the 800-900 MHz bands back in March, having paid a total of more than UAH 600 million for them) , and the conflict between NKRSI and Intertelecom, as you know, has long been settled. The fate of the Odessa CDMA operator is still vague, and the recent announcement of Intertelecom does not inspire optimism.
On August 5, the operator announced the upcoming restrictions on services in a number of regions of Ukraine. More precisely, from September 1, Intertelecom will restrict work in nine regions: Lvov, Volyn, Ternopil, Rivne, Donetsk, Lugansk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Transcarpathian and Chernivtsi. This is due to the refusal to use part of the radio frequency resource – the company assumed the corresponding obligations under the agreement signed with other operators on refarming frequencies in the 800-900 MHz range.
And although Intertelecom does not directly say that it no longer applies for a license to build its own 4G network in the 900 MHz range, as originally planned, this is clearly read in the lines below from the press release.
“For a long time, the Intertelecom company was in the process of seeking and attracting investment financial support, which would allow organizing the deployment of national LTE networks and the introduction of innovative services that meet modern requirements for the quality of services and consumer expectations. However, the protracted situation with quarantine restrictions and the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the general economic instability in our country and the world did not allow our company to implement financial agreements with interested investors and pay the cost of a license to use LTE technology in a timely manner ”
press service of “Intertelecom”
Intertelecom once again emphasizes that they have no claims against NCCIR and undertake to fulfill all the terms of the refarfing agreement (that is, to release frequencies), making it clear that the conflict (the operator did not pay for the license) is fully resolved.
At the same time, the company announces a revision of its development strategy. Three key points of the plan:
abandonment of a part of the radio frequency spectrum currently used by the company; optimization of the radio and transport network in a number of regions; introduction and active development of additional innovative IT services.
This, according to the company, will allow it to focus on the development of new infrastructure elements in regions with a high concentration of subscribers and improve the quality characteristics of the voice and Internet services provided.
At the expense of what exactly Intertelecom is going to save the situation and survive, it is completely unclear from this plan. It looks like Intertelecom may soon cease to exist. And it’s a pity.