Uzbekistan to Create New National Mobile Network
Published on: 18th Feb 2014
Uzbekistan is planning to deploy a new national mobile network the country's President has announced.
According to a Presidential Decree, the mobile subsidiary of the state owned landline operator, Uzbektelecom will be upgraded to provide a nationwide service.
The decree calls for the creation of "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."
Uzmobile will deploy just over a thousand base stations in Tashkent this year, and then expand nationwide.
It's expected that the mobile network will reuse the radio spectrum recovered when the government shut-down the network owned by Russia's MTS.
Uzdunrobita, MTS's wholly owned subsidiary in Uzbekistan, was declared bankrupt by the government in an action that is being contested by MTS. Attempts to sell the assets in three auctions did not get any bidders -- no doubt put off by the ongoing legal challenge to the sale.
MTS has repeatedly stated that the claims of the Uzbek authorities and actions in Uzbekistan, which resulted in the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings and attempts to sell Uzdunrobita's assets, have no legal or factual basis.
MTS has a claim pending against the government at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).