Ukraine’s Intertelecom has issued a legal challenge against the cancellation of its 4G spectrum licence by the country’s regulator.
In addition to losing its 4G licence, the CDMA provider is also being forced to relinquish various regional 3G CDMA frequencies due to spectrum refarming agreements between the regulator and the country’s major operators.
The National Commission for State Regulation of Communications & Informatization (NCCIR/NKRZI) cleared Intertelecom to receive a 4G licence on 7th February 2020, thereby granting the operator permission to deploy a nationwide LTE networking on refarmed 800MHz-850MHz spectrum, provided it continued delivering services to CDMA customers.
On 1st April, NCCIR announced that Intertelecom had only paid UAH1 million of its full UAH193.6 million (US$6.88 million) licence fee, which had been due in full on that day. Accordingly, it stated that it would cancel Intertelecom’s 4G licence, and has asked the operator to present a proposed course of action in the next ten days.
Additionally, Intertelecom has been ordered to disconnect 9-15 channels across the Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Transcarpathian and Volyn regions and must also shut down base stations in these areas or risk sanctions for operating telecoms equipment without a licence.
Granting Intertelecom a 4G licence was part of NCCIR’s plan to refarm 800MHz-900MHz frequencies between the CDMA provider and Ukraine’s three major operators Kyivstar, Lifecell and Vodafone Ukraine.
The latter three operators all met the deadline to pay for the 900MHz spectrum licences reallocated to them last month by the regulator. They are able to launch LTE-900 services from 1st July 2020.