“Immediate total disconnection is not technically possible from Kiev, so it will take place within about 48 hours,” he said.
Crimeans had been duly informed about possible inconveniences, Polonsky added. He did not rule out other Ukrainian operators could also wind up business in Crimea in the near future.
“We cannot forecast politically motivated actions of Ukrainian mobile operators,” he said adding some were reported to plan disconnection but publicly denied the possibility.
On Monday, Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov launched Crimea’s first Russian mobile network K-Telecom. Complete set-up would take about 48 hours and then any holder of the Russian SIM card would be able to use the network without roaming restrictions, the Minister said.
Almost 800,000 SIM cards had already been bought and 2 million were still available, while Ukrainian operators could provide services within their networks in Crimea and should decide whether to continue operations in the peninsula, Nikiforov said.
Crimea’s interim governor Sergey Aksyonov confirmed no Ukrainian operator would be restricted in their business in Crimea.