Due to sanctions in Russia, the speed of mobile Internet has dropped sharply. Operators remove equipment from small towns and settlements

Swedish Ericsson and Finnish Nokia stopped supplying equipment to Russia almost immediately after the start of the war in Ukraine. After the adoption in early April of the fifth package of EU sanctions, which prohibits the supply of telecom equipment to Russia, both companies announced their withdrawal from the Russian market. Later, without announcing anything, the Chinese Huawei stopped deliveries and stopped responding to requests from the Russian side: despite the fact that China is considered a country friendly to Russia, Huawei may have problems with business in Western countries.

The Internet is going out of the depths

Igor Yashchuk, project manager for the construction of a telecommunications network, told The Insider that due to the departure of vendors, Russian operators were unable to continue deploying networks on higher technologies. All Big Four operators <MTS, Beeline, Megafon, Tele2 - The Insider> decided to purchase used equipment from abroad, and also began to transfer equipment from the periphery to more densely populated areas.

“Now we are seeing a loss of network quality, consumers may notice this in places where 3G or 4G used to be,” says Yashchuk. - Now holes appear in these zones, and either users are thrown out of the network, or a reboot occurs. Operators have begun dismantling 4G routers and moving them to more financially advantageous areas. From the Moscow region, objects began to be moved to Moscow, to those areas where the largest concentration of the population and where the base station would be more acceptable in terms of coverage and finances.
Let's say there is a small settlement where the operator has three subscribers, and there is Moscow, where the base stations cannot cope, and when they transfer equipment there, it takes 30–40 subscribers. Here such equipment is more necessary than when covering SNT <gardening non-profit partnerships - The Insider> . This does not mean that the equipment is removed from the SNT - there remains a base station with parameters lower than 4G. This is now a widespread practice in Russia.”

Is there a way out

According to Yashchuk, the Chinese company ZTE could offer a replacement for the equipment of the departed suppliers, but it has not yet decided to enter the Russian market.

“As far as I know, this issue is currently being worked out. ZTE is not a global supplier, it is not afraid of being sanctioned, unlike Huawei. In addition, in Russia, now, by presidential decree, they are trying to replace everything with their own equipment.
With the advent of ZTE on the Russian market, it is quite difficult to give accurate forecasts, because here, in addition to economics and technology, politics are involved. Everything depends on the market situation, on the fear of suppliers and the problems that they can get by cooperating with Russia.
It is quite possible that they will create some kind of joint venture between Russia and China, on the basis of which we will produce our own equipment using their technologies to replace those who have left. However, it takes a long time to set up co-production. Unfortunately, we did not prepare for this issue as we would like, and because of this, consumers will now incur costs.”

What to do for consumers

The expert notes that voice communication was still available, and no one canceled the GSM range.

“We communicate well on 2G, and 3G and 4G technologies allow us to use high-speed Internet. For settlements remote from megacities, the only option left is to connect to the wired Internet.”

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