Defense Ministry Approves 3G Tests

The country's three biggest mobile operators -- Mobile TeleSystems, VimpelCom and MegaFon -- moved a step closer to deploying third-generation technology in Moscow, after the Defense Ministry approved network tests.

The ministry, which had opposed the project on the grounds that 3G networks would interfere with the frequencies used by anti-missile warning systems, granted permission to test 3G cellular networks in the city and the Moscow region, Kommersant said Tuesday.

Valery Butenko, president of the National Radio Association, said his organization had agreed with the IT and Communications Defense Ministries on allocating frequencies for the 3G networks in Moscow, the paper reported.

The companies wrote to Yury Baluyevsky, chief of the General Staff, urging him to expedite the frequency allocation, the paper said. The three firms received 3G licenses in April 2007.