By 2024, Russia should create a wireless network for socially significant facilities and special consumers, said in the passport of the program "Digital Economy", generally approved on Monday by the government. The network should work on LTE-450 technology.
The peculiarity of the LTE-450 network is the ability to manage priorities for different groups of users, so this technology is described in the documents of the Department of Information Technologies (DIT) of Moscow. Subscriber units in this range can also operate in the radio-mode (push-to-talk), and transmit video. The network is characterized by high speeds and small delays in data transmission, according to the materials of the DIT. And to ensure a stable coverage in this standard, a minimal number of base stations is sufficient.
The idea of creating such a network has long been in the air, says a person close to one of the agencies in whose interests the network can be deployed. In fact, the entire frequency range of 450 MHz, which is necessary for its operation, is now used by "T2 RTK Holding", he continues. Commercialize this range was not possible, so use it for special consumers is logical, the interlocutor of Vedomosti believes. According to him, special consumers will be able to use special subscriber devices - in fact they are smartphones, but with special applications designed for departmental needs. Such smart phones are not cheap, but they are definitely cheaper than, for example, terminals of the digital radio standard TETRA, he says.
Terms and budget for creating a special LTE-network in the passport of the "Digital Economy" are not given. Its total cost may amount to about 73.4 billion rubles., Follows from preliminary calculations by one of the relevant departments. Approximately this order of investment is being discussed now, says a person close to one of the developers of the Digital Economy.
Frequencies in the 450 MHz band went to Tele2 along with Sky Link and other cellular assets of Rostelecom in 2014. Tele2 plans to participate in the project and in working order it is discussed with the profile agencies, said the representative of the operator Olga Galushina. The assessment of the budget for the creation of the special network as a whole coincides with the estimates of the developers of the "Digital Economy", she notes.
The experience of rendering LTE-450 services to special users from Tele2 is. Together with the DIT, Tele2 provided emergency services with communications at the World Cup 2018, recalling Galushin: at the request of the DIT, Tele2 set a priority for emergency services in the LTE-450 network.
Logically, if the operator of the network for special consumers becomes Tele2, as the largest owner of 450 MHz frequencies, otherwise the state will have to seize a part of these frequencies for the LTE-450 network, the general director of TMT consulting, Konstantin Ankilov, argues. Market participants are actively discussing the transition of control over Tele2 to Rostelecom, he recalls. The network for special consumers would become for Rostelecom, which is now increasing its presence in the state order segment, an important competitive advantage, believes Ankilov.
It is impossible to build a high-quality network that meets modern requirements in a narrow frequency band, otherwise the LTE-450 would be in demand by the market, the employee of one of the operators comments, in addition, building a mobile network for special users is an inefficient spending of budget funds.
Representatives of the Ministry of Communications did not answer the questions of Vedomosti.