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GENEVA, October 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The terms of tenders for the construction of LTE communication networks in Russia should be worked out by the beginning of next year, Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) Head Sergei Sitnikov said.
“An order on the composition of the working group will be signed next week. It will start working in early November,” Sitnikov said on the sidelines of the Telecom-2011 exhibition on Monday, October 24.
He said it would take “at least two months” to work out the terms.
In addition to Roskomnadzor, the working group will also involve officials from the Defence Ministry and possibly Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) experts.
“Operators will act as observers without the right to vote,” the official added.
The working group “simply will not be able to write all the terms without the military”, Sitnikov said. “This is a process of discussions and negotiations, and its outcome will depend on the results of the talks with the Defence Ministry.”
Many issues involve encumbrances related to the conversion of frequencies planned by the State Commission on Radio Frequencies.
Sitnikov said it would become clear what the final resource will look like and how many sets of frequencies will be put up for sale only in the course of experts’ work.
Special attention will be paid to the need to provide communication services in regions at affordable prices.
“The impression is that we are on the threshold of communication segmentation by the price,” the official said.
He stressed that in addition to pricey services, there should remain low-cost communication options.
According to Sitnikov, the terms of tenders should include provisions that will encourage operators to work in regions.
Speaking of possible technological neutrality for Russian operators, which will allow them to develop any technology using their resources, Sitnikov said, “This is not to easy, but if operators are ready to do so, why not?”
He believes that technological neutrality will become possible “when they [operators] confirm that they can build a network within the designated bandwidths and that subscribers will not be affected”.