The Kyivstar mobile communications operator plans in 2019 to expand the 4G (LTE) mobile communication network, covering the territory of Ukraine where 75% of Ukrainian population lives, President of Kyivstar Alexander Komarov told reporters in Lviv on Saturday. “We invest a lot in expanding coverage, but we invest even more in coverage capacity in order to support the growing consumption trend,” he said.
Komarov recalled that in 2018, Kyivstar invested UAH 8.3 billion in the purchase of new frequencies and the construction of a network. “We covered 68% of the population in a year with LTE services. Our goal is 75% of the LTE population this year,” he said. The president of Kyivstar also said that in Lviv, the operator had begun a program on placing micro-sites (base towers) on city lighting and electric transport pylons in order to improve network coverage and capacity. “It is very modern and incredibly efficient. We still have problems with radiophobia and access to infrastructure, and such a solution plan with the support of the city and region helps us to solve fundamental problems of infrastructure development. We can build better coverage. We more often do not face homeowner associations, permissions,” he said.
Komarov said that the situation when the operator actually deals with one or two counterparties allows it to develop the network quickly, without spending a lot of time on negotiating documents or disputes on the placement of towers.
“No 5G revolution is possible without such solutions, because the development of 5G communication is an explosive growth in the number of micro-sites, especially in the heavily built-up areas,” Komarov said.
According to him, Kyivstar plans to scale the experience of placing microsites in Lviv and other areas, thereby solving the problem of access to urban infrastructure.
“In some areas, we are confronted with opposing phenomena – when, despite the actual availability of the law on access to infrastructure, it is still not implemented, operators cannot obtain permission to locate base towers in urban infrastructure,” Komarov said.
According to him, such illegal actions on the part of a number of public utilities and state-owned enterprises significantly hamper the development of the operators’ networks.