2 Sep 2021 21:20

Russia plans to introduce 5G telecom services in all million-plus cities by 2024 - minister

SAMARA. Sept 2 (Interfax) - The availability of 5G telecommunications services must be ensured in all million-plus cities in Russia by 2024, Russian Digital Development Minister Maksud Shadayev said.

"5G is a critical technology. It has been decided to follow the path of launching our own production. Certainly, this imposes certain restrictions on the distribution rate, but the state deemed it more important to control this technology. A major program is being implemented now to launch the production of our own equipment, and Rostec has shown working prototypes. From the viewpoint of the [distribution] rate, 5G must be available in all million-plus cities by 2024," Shadayev said at a meeting with students of the Volga State University of Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Shadayev described rumors about hazards supposedly associated with 5G as unwarranted.

"It seems to me that rumors about mobile communication hazards have always been there. I can tell you that two-thirds of requests from people are about installing new base stations and improving the quality of communication services, and one-third are about dismantling them because of their proximity and other worries. But it seems to me they are unwarranted," Shadayev said.

"My opinion is that it [a base station] doesn't pose any health hazards. People often fear the installation of new base stations because of their possible influence on the working stations. And this is a misconception," he said.

Rostec said in June 2021 that it had signed a contract with the Digital Development Ministry, under which it would receive a subsidy of 21.46 billion rubles for the period up to 2024 to develop a systemic project to manufacture 5G/IMT-2020 equipment and start its serial production. The contract envisions that Rostec would co-finance the project at least on a one-to-one ratio. The project's roadmap estimates its cost at 42.93 billion rubles.

The roadmap envisions the development of a comprehensive 5G solution including both base stations and a core network. To this end, Rostec is launching technological cooperation among Russian companies having the relevant expertise and competencies. In addition, the project implies the establishment of a manufacturing facility capable of arranging the serial production of equipment for 5G networks.

"Mobile communications technology is a foundation of digital economy. Therefore, it is extremely important for Russia to possess its own solutions in the field of 5G and further generations. The agreement with Rostec would help consolidate the industry's efforts on this track and have a domestically-made comprehensive 5G solution in 2024," Rostec quoted Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko as saying.