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Ukraine could roll out 5G a year after war ends, ministry official says

Photo by Jackson David / Unsplash

By Ukraine Rebuild News Staff

Ukraine’s telecoms sector will be ready to launch 5G within a year after the war in the country ends, said Stanislav Prybytko, director of the country’s Department for the Development of Mobile Communications of the Ministry of Statistics.

“The issue of 5G is really relevant,” Prybytko said in an interview with Ukrainian Pravda. “We plan to allocate two bands for 5G as the first step: 700 MHz and 3400-3800 MHz. Theoretical work has already been done for 700 MHz. The second step is the practical part.”

The war, though, is impeding progress in several ways, he said.

“The most significant problem is that we need to do scientific research and understand that in the ranges that we have planned for sale for 5G, 5G equipment will not interfere with the equipment of our military,” he said. “To do it, we need to interact with the military. During active hostilities, they cannot afford this, because they are on constant combat duty.”

That will take “up to a year - and it will be possible to launch,” he said.

The reconstruction of Ukraine, as envisioned by international bodies such as the World Bank, EBRD and many foreign governments, calls for digitalization of many sectors in the country in a push to “build back better” than before. 5G is seen as an important part of that drive.

Veon, which owns Ukraine’s biggest telecoms operator, Kyivstar, pledged in June to spend $600 million over the next three years in network expansion, in part to prepare for a “5G-focused reconstruction.” It also agreed with Japan’s Rakuten Symphony early this month to consider collaborating after the war to rebuild and upgrade Ukrainian infrastructure and to push for open radio access networks (ORAN) that can deliver 5G.

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