Roskomnadzor will exclude Crimea from the list of Russian regions in the text of the new 3G license

    The head of the press service of the RKN, Vadim Ampelonsky,

    Roskomnadzor decided to exclude Crimea and Sevastopol from the list of regions of the Russian Federation in which cellular operators are obliged to provide services when obtaining a license to use 3G, RBC reports with reference to a representative of Roskomnadzor Vadim Ampelonsky.

    At the February 2 meeting of the ministry with the participation of representatives of the “big three” telecom operators, it was decided that after the expiration of existing licenses, Roskomnadzor would edit the list of regions in which operators are obliged to provide their services. Under the terms of 3G licenses issued back in May 2007 (the license is valid for 10 years, approx. Ed.), Mobile operators, if licensed for 3G, are obliged to provide cellular services in all regions of the Russian Federation.

    “Everything worked as it will work. Operators of the “Big Three” are not going to be driven into the Crimea by force, ”said Vadim Ampelonsky.

    Recall that at the end of January 2017, telecom operators had questions regarding the extension of the federal license to use the 3G range. The main problem was the probability of falling under the sanctions of Western countries against companies doing business in the Crimea and Sevastopol.

    On January 1, 2017, the government decree No. 1326 expired, according to which all licenses, permits and numbering issued for the Russian Federation were invalid on the peninsula.

    Now, telecom operators are faced with an unpleasant prospect of either getting under sanctions, which is unacceptable for them (MTS and VimpelCom are traded on the American stock exchanges NYSE and NASDAQ, and MegaFon is on the London Stock Exchange), or lose the federal licenses for the 3G range and therefore the right to provide these services.

    In addition to problems with placed securities, operators could face an embargo on the supply of equipment and the provision of infrastructure maintenance services, a significant part of which is built on the decisions of foreign contractors.

    In parallel, the possibility of providing communication services on the peninsula using Krasnodar switches is being considered. Within the framework of the scheme being developed, all Crimean subscribers will formally become “Krasnodar”, which will make it possible to bypass Western sanctions. The corresponding order is being prepared in the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media.

    Representatives of VimpelCom, MegaFon and MTS declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting in Roskomnadzor. Vadim Ampelonsky said that all operators agree with the solution found.

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