To Russia with love. As wireless technologies such as GPRS, EDGE, WiFi, and ADSL are gaining acceptance among Russian customers, WiMAX is slowly--very slowly--inching forward as an alternative wireless offering, according a Cellular News report. Here is a short list of Russian companies which have launched, or are about to launch, WiMAX services in the land of Tolstoy:
- Prestige-Internet (which is controlled by the Netherlands' Enforta BV) last month completed deployment of WiMAX networks in 15 cities, and during the next 18 months will roll out service in 14 additional cities
- Start Telecom will roll out by the end of the year a WiMAX network which will cover five cities
- St. Petersburg-based fixed-line operator PeterStar will launch a WiMAX network in the city of Kaliningrad later this year
- Sibirtelecom is planning a pilot WiMAX launch in the Siberian cities of Tomsk, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk later this year
The number of WiMAX subscribers in Russia is still minuscule. J'son & Partners estimate the number of subscribers at around 12,000, but they expect the various deployments around the country to bring the number of subscribers up so that by the end of 2007, about 2 percent of wireless subscribers will be using WiMAX, and that the number will increase to about 9 percent by 2011.
For more on the growth of WiMAX in Russia:
- check out this detailed Cellular News discussion