LTE picks up steam in Russia despite many challenges

While Russia lags behind Western Europe in terms of LTE penetration, there are signs that LTE deployments in Russia are picking up steam.

Smartphone penetration in Russia is low--Russian operators don't subsidize mobile phones, making subscribers more likely to hold onto their existing handsets longer. Plus, harsh weather conditions can take their toll on equipment and the way it gets installed.

But changes to telecom regulations are starting to make an impact. The government says radio frequency shortages and a complicated procedure covering the request for, and issue of, licenses are being addressed. Registration procedures for radio electronic equipment have been simplified, and the government is now prepared to accept 100 percent of its applications online. For more on the status of LTE in Russia, check out this FierceWireless:Europe special report.