Sunday 30 May 2021

‘Health Concerns’ delay 5G pilots in Kyrgyzstan


CIS region countries are not planning to be leaders of 5G rollouts but they have been conducting some or other pilots and trials. Commsupdate reported

Kyrgyzstan’s State Communications Agency (SCA) – a subordinate agency of the State Committee for Information Technology & Communications – has disclosed that planned launches of test/pilot 5G networks have been suspended, largely due to COVID-19, although delays were also related to a campaign to address public 5G ‘health concerns’, the regulator told the Tazabek news service, adding that the date for 5G service deployment in the country is ‘not determined’ yet.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in December 2019 the Kyrgyz regulatory authorities decided to allocate frequencies in test mode for 5G mobile network operations while approving proposed measures for supporting IoT development, in accordance with the 2019-2023 Digital Transformation policy roadmap. The temporary licences permit usage of spectrum within the 3300MHz-5000MHz range.

In July 2020 the regulator underlined that cellcos do not have the right to install and operate 5G network equipment without its specific permission, although adding that if the results of 5G tests ‘are positive’, the authorities would consider the issue of holding an auction of 5G frequencies. However, also that month operators reported multiple criminal attacks on their network facilities related to public fears over 5G, and the SCA began issuing information to address the matter, including global scientific evidence supporting 5G’s safety.

Developing Telecoms added:

Kyrgyzstan’s regulator has issued two 2300MHz spectrum licences to the state-backed operator MegaCom while noting that the country’s 5G network pilots will be delayed.

MegaCom bid KGS116.87 million (US$1.38 million) for two licences in the 2300MHz-2400MHz TDD range in an auction held by the State Communications Agency (SCA), itself a subordinate unit of the State Committee for Information Technology & Communications.

The two licences will allow MegaCom to deliver coverage across Kyrgyzstan, with the notable exception of the capital Bishkek and second largest city Osh. MegaCom spent KGS77.92 million to acquire 40MHz of spectrum in the 2300MHz-2340MHz band, and KGS38.95 million for 20MHz in the 2380MHz-2400MHz band.

TeleGeography reports that MegaCom bid KGS5.56 million more than the combined reserve price for the two licences despite the SCA indicating that it was the only bidder, with a third available licence for 40MHz of spectrum in the 2340MHz-2380MHz band going unsold. The concession covered the Batken, Naryn and Talas regions and had a reserve price of KGS17.72 million.

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