Megafon launches 4G network in Moscow
Following Yota, Megafon has launched its LTE network services. The operator expects 50 thousand of its customers in Moscow and the region to be using the 4G network by late 2012.
Megafon has announced the launch of a 4G network in Moscow. The operator says, apart from a higher mobile internet speed as compared to earlier generation networks, the great advantage of the 4G network is its compatibility with 3G and GSM networks. The two latter will fill in where the 4G network is not available.
The company says over 1 thousand 4G base stations operate in the region and their number will grow to 3 thousand by the year end. Head of Megafon’s Moscow branch Andrey Kurdanov says the company injected around 700 million rubles ($23 million) for the 4G network infrastructure and development.
The company has been actively working on the equipment to support the 4G network. Recently the operator’s first modem supporting 4G has appeared on the market. It is going to start the sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE Megafon Edition 4G tablets. It will sell at around 30 thousand rubles ($1000).
Moscow has become the second city where Megafon launched its 4G network. Next on the list are Krasnodar and Sochi.
“We are expecting about 50 thousand of our customers to be using the 4G network by late 2012”, says Natalia Spitsina, Megafon Moscow Commercial Director. Megafon will also launch its 4G network in over 20 cities around Moscow, such as Khimki, Podolsk, Korolyov, and Mitishchi.
Megafon is the first operator of the Three Big (Beeline, MTS, Megafon) that has launched a 4G network in Moscow. It previously launched similar services for its Novosibirsk customers; there it shares the LTE infrastructure with Skartel (Yota brand). The companies agreed on that in 2011. The Novosibirsk network was launched in April and has become the first commercial 4G network in Russia.
Earlier Megafon said it would launch the 4G network in Krasnodar and Sochi within the first half of 2012 and in St Petersburg, Samara, Vladivostok, Ufa, Kostroma and other cities within the second half of 2012.
On May 10th Skartel had launched an LTE network in Moscow by resetting its WiMAX network. Megafon and Skartel use the same infrastructure for their 4G services in Moscow.