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September 11, 1995

MOSCOW LOOKS TO CELLULAR OPERATORS FOR FUNDS

By CBR Staff Writer

The Russian General State Supervisory Department of Communications is trying to raise $300m to buy mobile and fixed direction-finders to trace radio spectrum pirates throughout Russia. The initiative is supported by the State Committee for Radio Frequencies and a number of interested federal agencies, such as the military. Illegal use of the radio spectrum is now rife in Russia, a factor that hurts both regulators and legitimate operators of cellular and paging networks. The Ministry of Communications said the whole sum is unlikely to be found in the state budget and so it is looking to raise up to 90% from commercial mobile operators. Cellular operators in Moscow and St Petersburg have already agreed to buy some equipment for the department. Operators in other regions will likely follow their example. They are most interested in this because they lose money if someone else illegally uses their frequencies, an official said.

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