The Ministry of Digital Industry came up with an initiative to transfer to him the authority of Roskomnadzor to allocate radio frequencies. But this idea is opposed by the service itself and the law enforcement agencies, the issue has been postponed for now
Photo: Valery Sharifulin / TASS
The Ministry of Digital Development is discussing the issue of redistributing the powers of Roskomnadzor to allocate radio frequencies, said three RBC sources familiar with the plans of the State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF).
The commission, according to sources, was planning to consider the proposal to transfer the authority to allocate frequencies, which Roskomnadzor now possesses, to the Ministry of Digital Security at the next meeting. However, following the results of the conciliation meeting held on Tuesday, October 13, it was decided to withdraw the issue from consideration, one of the interlocutors of RBC said. Roskomnadzor itself and a number of law enforcement agencies opposed the transfer of powers, he said.
“The issue will be removed from consideration at the next meeting of the State Committee for Radio Frequencies due to the need for a detailed study of this topic,” a representative of the Ministry of Finance told RBC.
GKRCH is the main body responsible for frequency allocation in Russia. According to the decision of the commission of December 20, 2011, any applications for obtaining frequencies or making changes to previously issued permits must receive a positive opinion from three departments – the Ministry of Defense, the Federal Security Service (FSO) and Roskomnadzor. If they support the decision, the issue can be brought up for consideration and vote by other members of the State Commission. As of mid-July, the SCRF consisted of 24 representatives of various departments.
Earlier, a RBC source familiar with the position of the Ministry of Digital Science explained that the replacement of Roskomnadzor by the ministry when making an opinion on applications for frequencies is logical, as it will reflect the consolidated position of the ministry and the subordinate Rossvyaz and Roskomnadzor (now only the opinion of the latter service is taken into account)
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RBC sent a request to Roskomnadzor.
What the redistribution of powers might affect
Mobile operators are considered to be the main commercial users of the radio frequency spectrum in Russia. Representatives of MTS, MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand) and Rostelecom (owns T2 RTK Holding, which provides services under the Tele2 trademark) declined to officially comment on the possibility of transferring powers from Roskomnadzor to the Ministry of Digital Security.
The representative of one of the operators of the Quartet noted that now the Ministry of Digital Industry represents the apparatus of the State Committee for Radio Frequencies and aggregates the opinions of all members of the commission, including the bodies subordinate to the Ministry. “Changing this order, among other things, may lead to the fact that the opinions and votes in the voting of the civil members of the State Committee for Radio Frequencies, Roskomnadzor and Rossvyaz, subordinate to the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, will be replaced by a single opinion. This will mean the loss of votes by the civilian bloc, as well as part of the expertise when discussing issues, “- fears the interlocutor of RBC. The representative of another operator also pointed out that “excessive monopolization, when the Ministry of Digital Affairs will lock itself in one more authority, can worsen the quality of management.”
But two more interlocutors of RBC in the operators of the Quartet say that such a redistribution “will not affect anything.” “We cannot get the frequencies necessary for the development of fifth generation (5G) communications due to the fact that most of the necessary resource relates to a government or dual purpose, it is used by the Ministry of Defense and the FSO and therefore does not give a positive conclusion,” said one of the interlocutors RBC. One of the market participants also draws attention to the fact that employees with the competencies necessary for making conclusions on radio frequency applications are concentrated in the FSUE Main Radio Frequency Center subordinate to Roskomnadzor. That is, the Ministry of Digital Industry will need to hire new employees or request information from this FSUE.