Rumour Mill: Virgin Mobile eyes Russian LTE deployment

Virgin Mobile is planning to build a 3.5 GHz LTE network in Russia, according to a source within one of the country's existing telecoms operator, as noted in an RBC Daily report.

While the report, which cited unnamed sources, gave no details as to how Virgin Mobile might have gained access to the spectrum, it suggested that the company could be collaborating with the Russian subsidiary of Swedish-owned Tele2 on the planned LTE service deployment.

Tele2, which is currently searching for a local telecoms partner, declined to provide details on "rumours regarding any negotiations with Virgin Mobile," but confirmed to RBC Daily that "the Russian market has long reached its point of saturation."

Virgin has previously attempted to gain a foothold in the Russian market in 2007 via Trivon, a Swiss-based telecoms holding company. This firm purchased licences for the provision of broadband internet and voice services in Russia within the 5.7 GHz to 6.5 GHz frequency bands. Using the "Virgin Connect" brand, Trivon claims to be offering WiMAX services in 32 cities across Russia.

Trivon has recently placed advertisements for a director general to lead a new business development unit.

Virgin recently launched an MVNO in the Polish market and the company said it was looking to potentially expand to Turkey, Russia, Hungary and other countries.

For more:
- see this RBC Daily article
- see this Telegeography article

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