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MegaFon takes a step into the future
MegaFon is the first Russan Big Three mobile operator to offer 4G (fourth-generation) mobile phone service in the RFE. This is not surprising, given that the local division of MegaFon has the most extensive 3G network infrastructure in the Primorsky Region. MegaFon clients will now have a way to watch HD video over the mobile network, download photos, and load web pages in seconds.
The RFE project should strengthen MegaFon’s leadership in the Russian mobile data market. Vladivostok is the sixth Russian city after Moscow, Samara, Novosibirsk, Krasnodar and Sochi to receive access to the most advanced mobile service. Since the network was launched, 4G base stations in Vladivostok have been providing 80% coverage of residential areas in Vladivostok, as well as Artem, Vladivostok International Airport, and Russian Island. By the end of this year, MegaFon plans to expand its 4G coverage significantly on Russian Island and other areas.
Data transfer speeds on a 4G network can reach 50 MBit/second, which is comparable to fixed broadband speeds. Therefore, in areas lacking fixed-line access, a mobile LTE network can offer users an adequate substitute. This is especially relevant for the RFE.
In recent years, MegaFon has been investing 35% of its capex in developing its own facility-based network, expanding the bandwidth of its channels, expanding the capabilities of its trunk network and intrazone service. MegaFon currently has one of the largest facility-based networks in Russia. The network comprises fiber optic cable at the trunk, intrazone and city level.
“The launch of our 4G network is unquestionably a step into the future, offering mobile Internet users an entirely different dimension of opportunity. APEC summit guests will be able to enjoy what is currently the most advanced mobile data technology right along with Vladivostok residents in September. All the venues and facilities of this high-profile international forum, including the university campuses on Russia Island, will be covered by 4G networks,” says Yuri ZHURAVEL, Director of MegaFon’s RFE Division.
Experts note that 4G technology is very convenient for private and business users, especially in the SME segment.
“In effect, our mobile subscribers can now use all the Internet resources, email, and any “heavy” content without having to stay in one place,” explains Roman PROKOLOV, Head of MegaFon’s Business Communications Department. “The most important thing in all of this is that MegaFon brings to the Primorsky Region the practical experience it has accumulated in other Russian cities where 4G networks were previously launched. For example, in Moscow the content downloading activity of our 4G subscribers has increased almost by a factor of 6x: an average 4G subscriber currently consumes around 20 GB of traffic per month, while 3G users are generally at the 3 GB/month level.”
MegaFon’s universal modem provides comfortable high-speed Internet access compatible with 4G and earlier-generation networks, and the company plans to expand its line of equipment compatible with 4G networks going forward. MegaFon retail centers in Vladivostok will soon be launching the 4G-compatible tablet Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE MegaFon Edition. Routers and smart phones offering 4G network support will become available later this year.
We also note that the 4G network will compliment the currently available 3G network very nicely. Seamless transition between 4G/3G/2G networks offers 4G-capable device users an important technological advantage: even if they leave the coverage area of the new network, MegaFon subscribers can stay connected to mobile Internet.
From the Zolotoi Rog files:
MegaFon was the first mobile operator to launch a 3G network in Russia. More than 30,000 base stations throughout the country support this network. The main advantage for consumers of LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology is the high speed of data transfer and the responsiveness of mobile devices, such as videos, graphics, and other “heavy” content with minimal delay. Mobile Internet data transfer speeds on a 3G network are effectively capped at 21 MBit/second (using the HSPA+ technology).
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