Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has reportedly given the preliminary green light for a group of operators to launch a shared 5G network

Rolling out networks efficiently is a major challenge faced by operators around the world, especially for 5G, which will require more dense deployment than its predecessor, 4G.

To overcome this challenge, in Russia a group of operators are seeking to team up to create a 5G joint venture, allowing them to cooperatively deploy infrastructure and share the resulting network. 

The plan involves some of the largest operators in Russia – Rostelecom, its subsidiary Bashinformsvyaz, Beeline, and MegaFon – all of which will cooperate to build out and share a 5G network. Now, the FAS has given the scheme preliminary approval.

Naturally, such a move could give the participating telcos a major advantage over competitors, hence the FAS’s approval of the creation of the joint venture is conditional, requiring all mobile market players to be given equal access to the infrastructure. The operators will be required to provide the regulator with details regarding the conditions for shared use of the infrastructure and spectrum, as well as for access relating to the country’s mobile virtual network operators. 

Russia’s largest mobile operator, MTS, is notably absent from this cooperation agreement, perhaps because they are already in the process of rolling out their own 5G network. MTS launched its own pilot 5G network for consumers earlier in March this year.


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