Russia to start developing its own 5G equipment

Russia to start developing its own 5G equipment
By bne IntelliNews February 4, 2020

Subsidiaries of Russian state technology agency Rostec will start jointly developing equipment for 5G networks, Vedomosti daily reported on February 3 citing representatives of the agency and unnamed industry sources.

As reported by bne IntelliNews, the Kremlin chose unpopular frequencies for 5G rollout to drive home-made infrastructure development and could enforce the use of domestically produced servers only.

Reportedly GlobalInformService (GIS) and Sozvezdie have already designed and produced 4G network equipment under Rostec’s patronage. However, state funding for the companies currently amounts to only RUB224mn ($3.5mn). 

By comparison, the Ministry of Industry and Trade estimated the total cost of 5G and IoT (internet of things) roll-out at RUB28bn (RUB16bn of federal funding and RUB12bn of non-budgetary funds). The total cost of all network equipment could amount to up to RUB650bn.

Analysts surveyed by Vedomosti stress that until the question of 5G frequencies is decided, it is not clear how the developers could start producing the necessary equipment. The competitiveness of Russian solutions developed from scratch is also questioned.

As analysed by bne IntelliNews, the introduction of the 5G network has been impeded by a lack of clear policy, decisions on framework frequency allocation, rollout strategy and the lack of co-operation within and with the private sector.