Back to the future: Moscow authorities are again making plans to create a unified cellular network in the metro

    Moscow authorities and mobile operators have decided to resume negotiations on the construction of a unified cellular network in the Moscow metro. One of the reasons for this decision is a low assessment of the quality of communication in the metro by passengers. A corresponding survey was conducted at the end of 2014.

    The integration of VimpelCom and MTS infrastructure with the subsequent connection of MegaFon and T2 RTK Holding (Tele2 brand) to it is being discussed .

    Sources of Vedomosti estimated that four operators will be able to provide voice communications at least 70% of the metro area. It is possible that in 2016 LTE will operate at a significant part of the metro stations, and normal voice coverage will appear in the cars, the representative of the Moscow Transport Department predicts. MTS representative Dmitry Solodovnikov added that the operator is ready to discuss various interaction schemes.

    Network construction in the Moscow metro has been virtually frozen since 2011. One of Vedomosti's interlocutors blamed the barrage tariffs on access to infrastructure set by the metro for this.

    In September 2014, an employee of one of the cellular companies estimated the joint costs of building the network at 7 billion rubles. If they built the networks separately, each could cost about 3 billion rubles, he argued. The Moscow authorities have also not yet settled on one scenario. One of the projects provides for a competition common to all operators for the construction of a single network throughout the metro, and another - for holding separate competitions on different metro lines.

    In two years, MTS intends to cover the majority of Moscow metro stations with the LTE network, Solodovnikov said. "Megafon" expects that by 2016 all new stations will run 4G, as well as that in the metro will be modernized and expanded 3G network and earn LTE-1800 network handedVedomosti is Mikhail Karakulin, network development director of the metropolitan Megafon branch. According to the representative of VimpelCom Anna Aibasheva, the operator plans to launch an LTE network in the Moscow metro in the near future. Tele2 is building its Moscow network in the subway, its representative Konstantin Prokshin said.

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