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A 3G update – Ukraine

January 17, 2015

Following on somewhat nicely from yesterday’s Turkey-orientated entry, a return to a mid-November 2014 entry that was published relating to the anticipated 3G tender and licensing.  An entry that attempted to highlight just how critical to Ukraine a transparent tender and subsequent licensing will be, considering the number of large foreign international corporations looking closely at the processes and outcomes – regardless of having no interest in this particular tender.

Yesterday saw the passing of tender deadlines, with 4 tenders submitted.

According to the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications, it has received tenders from the 3 best known mobile telephone operators in Ukraine; Kyivstar, MTS Ukraine and Life (owned by Astelit), as well as UkrTower, a wholly owned subsidiary of Turkish provider Turkcell.  Turkcell is also a major shareholder in Life/Astelit, together with Rinat Akhmetov’s SCM.

Fair enough.

What does stand out is the Turkcell/UkrTower bid, not only because it is a wholly owned Turkish operator, but because Turkcell/UkrTower is predominantly an infrastructure builder/operator.  The UkrTower/Turkcell bid making clear it would create an infrastructure that could be shared by all licensed Ukrainian operators – presumably at a cost.

Thus, tenders are closed with entirely, and partly owned foreign interest, together with that of domestic interest.  As stated in the entry published in November 2014:

“As such, one of the very first public and international tests Ukraine will face will be the national G3 tender and licensing, due to take place in January 2015.

Quite simply – Ukraine has to get it right!”

We will soon see if the entire process will go through transparently and without even a whiff of nefariousness.  The signals it will send are important.

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