A national mobile operator will be created in Uzbekistan between 2014-2017 in accordance with President Islam Karimov's decree 'On measures to organise activity of a national mobile operator', adopted last week.
It is planned to create the national mobile operator using the Uzmobile subdivision of Uzbektelecom JSC, according to the decree.
The document was adopted 'in order to create the necessary conditions for large participation of national companies in the mobile communication market and further development of mobile cellular networks of the country, as well as to ensure information security', according to the decree's preamble.
The company will carry out the designing, construction and operation and render telecommunication and mobile cellular communication services, international and intercity and data transmission networks, including in remote locations. Its tasks also include the introduction of modern technology and high speed data for connection to the Internet, mobile TV services, electronic payments and commerce over the entire republic.
The operator must also ensure a reliable and stable operation of mobile (cellular) communications, taking into account the information security requirements.
The operator will function in the GSM standard by using LTE technology (fourth-generation network 4G) and it is expected that radio frequencies that were previously in the use of Uzdunrobita, a subsidiary of MTS JSC in Uzbekistan, will be transferred to Uzbekmobile, a representative of Uzbektelecom told Trend.
The mobile communication network is planned to cover the city of Tashkent by installing 1020 base stations, 500 sets radio relay equipment, as well as switching stations and a billing system for two million numbers in accordance with the schedule of measures during 2014.
Uzmobile will cover the regional centres of Uzbekistan and install 1994 base stations, 2000 sets of radio relay equipment and eight million numbers in 2015-2016. In 2017, it will cover other settlements by setting up 3986 base stations and 4000 sets of radio relay equipment.
To enable financing for the expenditure of purchasing of base stations, telecommunication equipment and software, Uzmobile will attract concessional long term loans from foreign financial institutions, as well as commodity loans from equipment suppliers, according to the decree. The costs of construction, installation and commissioning work will be covered by loans from Uzbekistan's commercial banks and equity of Uzbektelecom.
Uzbektelecom is exempted from customs payments (except customs fees) for imported technological equipment for the needs of Uzmobil e until Jan.1, 2018, in accordance with the lists approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Uzmobile is also exempt from payment of state tax for a licence to carry out activities for the design, construction, operation and provision of cellular services, as well as from payment for the use of the radiofrequency spectrum for the period of five years. At the same time the exempted funds should be sent towards the development of the operator's network.