Russia postpones transition to 5G until 2030 due to sanctions
The Russian government has decided to postpone the introduction of new 5G communication standards and 6G-Ready in connection with sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
5G networks for household equipment will be implemented in all cities of the country with a population of more than 100,000 only in 2030, according to the preliminary version of the Strategy for the Development of the Communications Industry in the Russian Federation for 2024-2035, which Kommersant read.
At the same time, the communication development plan adopted by the Council of Ministers at the end of 2022 states that 5G networks will be launched in 2023. By 2030, officials planned to provide a new standard of communication to 50 million Russians.
Currently, 5G networks have already been launched by 249 operators in 97 countries. on a commercial basis. The total number of subscribers to such networks has exceeded 1 billion people.
To finance the transition to 5G, the government intends to use the budget of state programs, local and off-budget sources. The Development Strategy indicates that in 2022 investments in the communication industry fell by 5.8%, mainly due to mobile operators, which account for 38% of all investments.
Companies have been forced to cut back on investment as Western countries have imposed restrictions on the purchase of imported equipment, including for base stations. Previously, the average investment of market participants was 550 billion rubles. In year.
The industry’s profitability also declined “due to persistently low prices for communication services and the exhaustion of opportunities for organic growth,” the document reads. In general, over the past ten years, the contribution of communications to Russia’s GDP has fallen by about half – to 1.1 trillion rubles. in 2022
The government document says that the expansion of the communications services market at the expense of the annexed regions of Ukraine, as well as the interest of developing countries in Russian technologies and the transition to domestic equipment will restore the investment attractiveness of the industry.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Council of Ministers to prepare a strategy for industrial development until 2035. The Ministry of Digitization explained that the project will be submitted to the government for approval by the end of May, while “industry proposals” are being collected.
Earlier, the state-owned corporation Rostec gave up the idea of developing Russian equipment for the 5G network, for which almost 30 billion rubles were allocated. from the budget. The state-owned corporation decided to allocate all funds to the development and production of equipment for previous generation networks, in particular devices based on LTE networks. Rostec explained this with the help of the telecommunications industry, which suffered from the departure of foreign suppliers.