PM Tigran Sargsian (L) and VivaCell-MTS CEO Ralph Yirikian (R) at the launch of VivaCell-MTS 4G test-network
VivaCell-MTS, Armenia’s largest mobile operator announced the commercial test-launch of 4G LTE network in Yerevan a little over a month after Orange Armenia staged a public demonstration in the Armenian capital.
VivaCell-MTS, the subsidiary of Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, announced today the launch of the Long-term Evolution (LTE) test network in Yerevan (the center and Komitas Avenue neighborhoods). The company says this is the first step towards the full-scale rollout of 4G/LTE network in Armenia.
VivaCell-MTS and Orange Armenia (third largest mobile operator) have been competing closely on the mobile internet market announcing data plans, free 3G USB modems, etc since Orange’s entry into the Armenian mobile market late in 2009.
Beeline (Armentel), Armenia’s leading fixed-line phone operator, second largest operator and the largest internet provider due to its Hi-Line (aDSL) and Dial-up offerings, has been taking a more conservative approach as regards the launch of mobile internet services. While it offers 3G in large cities and probably plans 4G as well, Beeline doesn’t particularly accentuate its mobile internet offerings, preferring to concentrate on Hi-Line.
At the official ceremony of launching the test 4G network, attended by the Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan and other high-ranking officials, live testing demonstration with uploading and downloading streams were conducted using LTE modems. The theoretical capacity of the 4G network was showcased: 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds were demonstrated at the test launch.
The end-to-end solution for 4G network roll-out in Yerevan was done with the support of Ericsson and Huawei.
“VivaCell-MTS’ LTE roll-out positions Armenia to be one of the selected global leaders in 4G deployment. In addition, the launch of 4G is expected to present Armenia as a country with attractive communication infrastructure,” commented VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian.
LTE, the new generation mobile communication technology, enables the provisioning of new mobile applications with higher bandwidth demand.
Earlier this year, on November 10th, the PSRC (Public Services Regulatory Commission) of the Republic of Armenia granted VivaCell-MTS a permission for building mobile network through based on LTE technology. According to the PSRC decision, VivaCell-MTS must have launched the LTE network as a commercial service before March 1, 2011.