Russian network operator Yota to ditch WiMAX for LTE

Russian WiMAX network operator, Yota has said that it plans to switch to LTE for its ongoing network rollout in Russia, in­ a move heralded as a blow to the WiMAX camp.

The company had planned to roll out its existing WiMAX service to 15 cities – but will now deploy LTE in five cities this year, with the remainder at an unspecified time in the future.

“The world’s biggest operators and device makers such as Nokia and Samsung have chosen the LTE standard. Following the global trend, we are seeking to give our clients the best solutions,” it said in emailed comments to the Reuters news agency.

The total investment during 2010 is expected to be in the region of US$100 million. Yota has signed contracts for delivery of 1,000 base stations, but declined to say who the equipment makers were.

Under the terms of a contract signed in February this year, Samsung was due to supply more than 5,000 Mobile WiMAX macro cellular base stations and Access Control Routers (ACR) to Yota, starting in March.

Moscow and Saint Petersburg, which are its existing markets for WiMAX services will get LTE at the end of 2011. The company is reported to have signed up around 500,000 customers in Russia.

It also operates WiMAX networks in Belarus, Peru and Nicaragua.

Source: Cellular News

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